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Agriculture education response to COVID-19 school closures

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is responding to the state’s school students currently learning at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic by generating ag education opportunities for students.

“The KDA is announcing two ways that students can learn about agriculture at home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “We are extending our poster and essay contest deadline to March 30 to allow more time for students to complete their creative entries. Further, the KDA is launching a series of online videos with Miss Kentucky Alex Francke, the official spokesperson for Kentucky Proud, to educate schoolchildren about the Kentucky Proud program, science in agriculture, and the importance of supporting Kentucky farm families.”

The department has extended its Poster and Essay Contest 10 days from the original due date of Friday, March 20. All entries must be received at the KDA by Friday, March 30. Additionally, all students in kindergarten through 12th grade can submit their essay, poster or digital artwork on an individual basis directly to the department. Submissions need to be sent to the attention of Elizabeth Gordon, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601.

This year’s theme is “Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow.” To enter the contest, students may submit one poster, an essay of 500 words or less, or a digital entry, which may be photos or original digital artwork. Each entry must include the actual written theme within the artwork or essay title.

Winners will be notified by Friday, April 17. Winners in the poster and essay competitions will be selected in each grade. One statewide winner will be selected for digital artwork. Each winner will receive a $100 award and will be recognized at the 2020 Poster and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony later this year. Winning entries will be displayed at the 2020 Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.

For more information, including complete contest rules and an entry form, go to kyagr.com/marketing/ag-education.html or contact Elizabeth Gordon, director of the KDA’s Education and Outreach Division, at elizabeth.gordon@ky.gov or (502) 782-4125.

For more information on Miss Kentucky’s agriculture education video series, go to “Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization” on Facebook and @MissAmericaKY on Instagram.