Students Asked for Essays on Farmer Suicide Prevention
$250 Prizes Offered for Best Essays That Urge Farmers to 'Think of Me; We're Thinking of You'
FRANKFORT (February 4, 2019) — Farmers and farm workers stressed by low commodity prices, natural disasters, and other factors are taking their lives in alarming numbers. High school FFA members in eight Kentucky counties are invited to write essays about the farmer suicide crisis.
Based on the theme “Think of Me; We’re Thinking of You,” the essay contest offers eight $250 prizes for the best essays from FFA members in Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, and Washington counties. Contest winners will be announced at the Louis Crosier Farm Safety Symposium on March 8 at 7 p.m. at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.
“A farmer or farm worker who is feeling crushed by the weight of economic difficulties, crop loss, disease, and other challenges may not be thinking of the people who love and value him and want to help him carry on,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “Some of Kentucky’s farm youth have taken it upon themselves to meet this crisis head-on, and we encourage them to put their thoughts on paper. Their ideas could help save lives.”
Essays must be one or two pages, typed and double-spaced. Essays will be evaluated on the basis of effective content that addresses the theme and subject matter. Spelling and grammar also will be considered. Staff from the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (SCAHIP) and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will evaluate the essays.
Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 18 and mailed to Dale W. Dobson, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601. Students must provide an unofficial transcript, a résumé, and a photo with their essays. Students must be present at the Louis Crosier Farm Safety Symposium to win, and the winners will read their essays aloud.
For more information about the essay contest, contact Elizabeth Gordon, director of the KDA’s Education & Outreach Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 782-4125.