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BLOOMINGTON, IL

Jessica Jurcek of Jefferson, Wisconsin, has been named the Wisconsin state winner of the 2016 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members.

The theme of this year's contest was 'What can young people to do ensure the sustainability of agriculture?'

In her contest entry, Jurcek said: 'In so many ways, young people are the key to the future. Joining local cooperatives, purchasing sustainably raised food and goods, implementing sustainable techniques on their own farms, and simply spreading the word of sustainability for all to hear are excellent ways for young people to begin their role in the furtherance of agriculture.'

Jurcek is a student at Jefferson High School and a member of the Jefferson FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Nick Brattlie.

As the contest winner, Jurcek will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Wisconsin FFA State Convention, held in Madison during June. The Jefferson FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment to help future students.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Taylor Adleman, Medford FFA, Medford; Summer Henschel, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah FFA, Plymouth; Bridgette Myers, River Ridge FFA, Bagley; and Tiffani Skroch, Cochrane-Fountain City FFA, Fountain City.

This is the 23rd 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 with annual sales of $8.8 billion (FY 2015 data) providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada.

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