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Garst FFA competition focuses on renewable fuels

Agriculture.com Staff 05/31/2006 @ 9:16am

Each spring, Garst Seed Company develops a classroom curriculum, available free of charge to FFA advisors, to teach high school students about marketing communications, and provide them with several hands-on activities. The company also sponsors a nationwide competition for FFA chapters to develop commercials relating to each year's theme.

This year, Garst company recently announced, the theme, "America's Farmland. Today's Solution to Tomorrow's Energy Needs," will focus on renewable fuels. FFA chapters from across the country will be competing for $7,500 in cash and prizes.

"Garst is very much committed to the FFA program and to encouraging future leaders and spokespeople for the field of agriculture," says Steve Klein, director of marketing for Garst. "It is fitting that our theme this year also looks to the future -- to agriculture's promising new role as a supplier for our nation's energy needs."

In addition to the print, radio and television categories for the contest, a new public relations category has been added this year. Chapters may submit two entries this year, as opposed to the one-entry limit in years past, as long as one is in the new public relations category.

The curriculum, which is designed to help students develop their writing, problem-solving, critical thinking and media relations skills, will be available early this summer.

Garst will donate $750 to the winning chapter in each division, plus $500 and $250 for second- and third-place winners. The Best in Show entry will receive an additional $500, and new this year, Garst will hold a drawing for prizes from all students who submit entries.

This is the third year for Garst's FFA curriculum. Each year the winners of the competition are announced at the National FFA Convention, held this year in Indianapolis. The top entries in each category will be on display at the Garst Seed Company booth throughout the convention.

Ag instructors may request the curriculum and competition materials by sending an e-mail to askgarst@garstseedco.com, or by visiting www.garstseed.com and downloading the materials. Entries for the commercial competition must be postmarked no later than October 6, 2006.

Garst has also donated $75,000 to the FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program. For three years, beginning this year, 25 FFA students from around the country will receive a $1,000 scholarship to help them pursue an ag-related college degree. Students interested in applying can ask their FFA adviser or the National FFA Organization for an application.

Each spring, Garst Seed Company develops a classroom curriculum, available free of charge to FFA advisors, to teach high school students about marketing communications, and provide them with several hands-on activities. The company also sponsors a nationwide competition for FFA chapters to develop commercials relating to each year's theme.

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