Jill Sackville from Aldeo, Illinois has been announced the Illinois winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA students. Sackville wrote an essay to answer the prompt: “What value do cooperatives provide to today’s farmers?”
“Today’s cooperatives still play a pivotal role in farming, allowing members to obtain high quality seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and many more essential agricultural needs. They set the pace for quality, price, and services and are a strong competitive influence in and amongst local farmers. They make the services of specialists available to farmers who otherwise would be unable to afford the extra help. Individualized products can be tailored to each of a farmer’s fields based on all manner of criteria,” Sackville wrote.
A student at Mercer County High School, Sackville is a member of the Mercer County FFA chapter. For her efforts she will receive $500 from GROWMARK, and her FFA chapter will be given $300 in her honor.
Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Mikayla Busby, Monticello FFA, Monticello, Illinois; Koby Gooden, West Prairie FFA, Colchester, Illinois; Mallory Unverfehrt, Okawville FFA, Okawville, Illinois; and Garrett Williams, Flora FFA, Noble, Illinois.
This is the 24th 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.