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Jessica Jurcek of Jefferson, 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 received a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Wisconsin FFA State Convention, in Madison. The Jefferson FFA chapter also received a $300 award in honor of Jurcek's accomplishment to help future students.

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

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.

Junior High Essay Contest

The winners were announced Tuesday, June 14 in the Junior High Essay contest. The contest helps to promote proficiency in writing and communication skills and to gain a better understanding of the FFA organization and its attributes through a designated theme.

All FFA members in eighth grade and under are eligible to submit an entry in the essay contest at the local level. This year's state Junior High Essay Contest winners are: Olivia Lulich, Mauston, first; Emma Hamilton, Adams- Friendship, second; Courtney Zimmerman, Spencer, third; and Jordan Smith, Adams-Friendship, fourth.

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