Sydney Benscoter of Marengo, Iowa, has been named the Iowa state winner of the 2021 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “If you could invent a new technology to improve agriculture, what would it be?” Students were encouraged to think creatively, not necessarily realistically, as they described their ideal invention.
In her contest entry, Benscoter said: “There is far less land available for growing food, and that in combination with the growing population is a recipe for disaster. I believe that the solution to this problem can be found in the very cities that caused it: skyscrapers. When we ran out of space to build houses, we built up! Why not do the same with farming?”
Benscoter is a student at Iowa Valley Jr/Sr High School and a member of the Marengo FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Marcia Kilgard.
As the contest winner, Benscoter will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK. The Marengo FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.
Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Cade Haughenbury, North Linn FFA, Coggon, Iowa; Zach Ihde, North Fayette Valley FFA, West Union, Iowa; Mattie Nielsen, Audubon FFA, Hamlin, Iowa; and Tessa Tauke, Beckman Catholic FFA, Earlville, Iowa.
This is the 28th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.
GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services throughout North America. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at www.growmark.com.