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Connecticut Working Lands Alliance Announces Essay Contest For High School Students Interested In Agriculture, Winners Receive $1,000 In Cash Prizes, Dinner with Governor Malloy, Agriculture Commissioner Reviczky


Lisa Bassani, Working Lands Alliance Project Director, American Farmland Trust

Phone: 203-535-9495

Email: lbassani@farmland.org


Windsor, CT, March 20, 2014 --The Working Lands Alliance, a project of American Farmland Trust, urges high school students interested in agriculture to enter the first-ever FFA/Agriscience/4-H Student Essay Contest and compete for $1,000 in prizes.

“The Governor’s Council for Agricultural Development has a goal of increasing Connecticut-grown agricultural products by 3 percent by 2020. Another initiative-- buyCTgrown-- has asked residents to take a pledge to spend 10 percent of their consumer dollars on Connecticut-grown food and products,” said Terry Jones, Chair of the Working Lands Alliance.  “We want to enlist the help of high school students interested in agriculture to generate new, out-of-the-box ideas on how to achieve these challenging goals.”

Students are asked to write a 750 word essay to answer the question, “If we, as a State, want to increase everyone’s consumption of Connecticut-grown food and farm products from current levels of less than 2 percent to 10 percent, what role could farmland protection play and what role could agriscience schools and/or the University of Connecticut 4-H play in meeting that goal?”

A total of $1,000 in prize money will be awarded: $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third place.   Four student essays will also be selected for honorable mention.

In addition to the cash prizes, the three prize-winning students and those selected for honorable mention will join Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Commissioner of Agriculture Steven Reviczky for dinner at the Winvian Estate in Litchfield Hills where Executive Chef Chris Eddy will prepare a world-class meal using Connecticut-grown foods.

The contest is open to all high school agriscience students, high school-level Future Farmers of America members and 4-H members in high school.

Representatives of the Working Lands Alliance, AFT, the Connecticut State Grange and the University of Connecticut Extension and from one high school agriscience program will judge the essays.

The deadline for entries is April 25.  Winners will be announced in mid-May. Entries should be sent in pdf format by email to Lisa Bassani, Working Lands Alliance Project Director, at: lbassani@farmland.org.

For more information on the essay contest, visit the Working Lands Alliance website: www.workinglandsalliance.org.

The Alliance is a statewide coalition dedicated to preserving Connecticut’s productive farmland.  To learn more about the Working Lands Alliance, visit: www.workinglandsalliance.org or call 860-683-4230.

The American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.

AFT will host the Farmland, Food and Livable Communities national conference in Lexington, Kentucky on October 20-22.  Visit www.farmland.org for more information.

For more information on the policies and programs of the American Farmland Trust, visit www.farmland.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanFarmland or Twitter www.twitter.com/farmland.


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American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.

American Farmland Trust