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MADISON – Isaiah Claussen, a fourth-grade student from Denmark, is the state winner of the Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest. Wisconsin fourth and fifth graders were asked to write a 100-to-300-word essay with the theme, “Inventions that made agriculture great.”

Isaiah is the son of Josh and Ashley Claussen and Erica Haffner. Meagan Towle is his teacher at Denmark Elementary School in Brown County.

Each year the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program hosts an essay contest revolving around food and agriculture. This contest is open to all fourth and fifth grade students across the state.

A total of 2,564 students wrote essays for the competition, which is sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation and We Energies.

Finalists

The finalist from each of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s nine districts across the state received a certificate, educational resources for their teacher and presentation about Wisconsin agriculture for their class. This year’s finalists were:

District 1: Kyla Weber, Allenton Elementary, Washington County

District 2: Andrew Harms, Watertown Catholic School-St. Henry, Dodge County

District 3: Roen Carey, Mineral Point Elementary, Iowa County

District 4: Brinna Goplin, Whitehall Elementary, Trempealeau County

District 5: Dylan Thomas, Omro Elementary, Winnebago County

District 6: Isaiah Claussen, Denmark Elementary, Brown County *State Winner*

District 7: Olivia Bowers, St. Martin Lutheran School, Waupaca County

District 8: Logan Welsh, Multum Non Multa Academy, Taylor County

District 9: Ellie Schiszik, Elk Mound Elementary, Dunn County

Winning essay

Inventions that have made agriculture great

By Isaiah Claussen

Holy smokes, did you see that tractor? It has no cab and no one driving it! I’m a dairy farmer and I know a lot about tractors, but this is new to me. I would like to tell you a little about how tractors have advanced.

Back in my great-great grandma’s time, all chores and field work was done with horses and tillage equipment. Horses were great companions and did lots of hard work, even the best took a lot of time and weren’t very efficient. Farmers thought there must be a better way.

In 1892, a man named John Froelich created the first gasoline tractor in Clayton County, Iowa, that moved forward and backward. This gas powered machine was one big advancement in agriculture, saving farmers working hours. This resulted in faster and easier harvest time, leaving farmers more time with their families!

The inventors didn’t stop there! They continued to advance the now more commonly known tractors with amenities such as: enclosed cabs, heat, air conditioning and even radios. Now, horses didn’t have such advancements and they were being phased out of the farm. I know my great-great grandma was sad when the horses were sold to buy a tractor, but I think she was very thankful for all the time that this new machine saved on her farm!

As tractors continued to unfold, we’ve rapidly progressed in technology! Today we have tractors that are driven by the push of a button. GPS-driven tractors look like something straight out of Star-Trek, they’re programmed to follow specific coordinates for the most accurate planting and harvesting known to farming. Now we don’t have any self-driving tractors on our farm and I really like horses, but we are thankful for our tractors that make our chores a whole lot easier.

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