Garden Essay Contest

GREENSBORO, N.C.– Syngenta has announced the national winners of the third annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship essay contest: master’s winner Sharon Perrone of the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s winner Abigail Arthaud of Oklahoma State University.

Oklahoma State University bachelor's level student Abigail Arthaud (left) and University of Minnesota master’s level student Sharon Perrone (right) after being presented with Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship national winner plaques.

Perrone and Arthaud were selected from approximately 200 eligible applicants who crafted essays about someone in their lives who inspired them to be rooted in agriculture and how this person’s influence motivated them to pursue a degree in the industry. Each applicant discussed how they will pay it forward and encourage others to be rooted in agriculture as well.

“The advancement of agriculture is contingent on its future leaders,” said Mary Streett DeMers, senior communications lead, Syngenta. “We are happy to have found two students who have been inspired to pursue careers in the industry, and to honor them and those who sparked their passion.”

Perrone and Arthaud received $1,000 in regional awards and $6,000 in national awards to assist them in meeting financial obligations and ultimately realizing their educational and career goals.

“Sharon and Abigail are motivated and deserving, and it is a pleasure to present the two of them with the Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship,” said DeMers. “We’re looking forward to seeing where their promising careers take them as well as how they will pay it forward within our industry.”

In her essay, Perrone describes her first time working on a farm, the development of her relationship with her teacher, who also served as a mentor, and how it inspired her to pay it forward. “Participating in this contest enabled me to powerfully reflect on the central role of the selfless people that supported and guided me along my path of self-discovery in agriculture,” said Perrone. “It forced me to consider my role as a mentor and future educator, and I look forward to further exploring what it means to teach and support others in becoming agents of positive change in the food system.”

Raised on a farm, Arthaud said she is continually amazed by the level of patience that her father possesses. Her essay focused on how his character shaped her perspective of agriculture and influenced her desire to tell the stories of farmers around the world. “It is both humbling and an honor to be chosen as the national scholarship award recipient,” said Arthaud. “Receiving this award encourages me to continue to pursue a career in ag communications and become an advocate for agriculture.”

Six additional students were each awarded a $1,000 regional scholarship prize.Recipients included Gilma Castillo (University of Florida), Leah Schwinn (The Ohio State University), Clara Ervin (Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University), Jonathan Stephens (Pennsylvania State University), Eduardo Garcia (California Polytechnic State University) and Elizabeth Warren (Washington State University).

For additional information about the winners and the scholarship, click here.



Are you a middle school student in Georgia? Do you want a chance to be rewarded for your writing skills? If so, this contest is an opportunity for you to use both your writing skills and your knowledge or research of agriculture.

The purpose of this essay contest is to encourage students to increase their level of agricultural literacy through research and through presentations by county Farm Bureau volunteers. The contest is open to all 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Georgia. The writing and research activity can be matched to state standards in language arts as well as other areas.

The topic for this year's contest is: What are the benefits of school gardens?

More schools are adding gardens to their landscape as teaching laboratories across the curriculum. Write a persuasive essay on why your school should have a garden, expand the gardens they have, or use their gardens more effectively.

Essential Questions for Essay:

  • What are the benefits of school gardens?
  • How can the school garden teach about fruits and vegetables we grow in Georgia?

Include your own experience with a school garden or how you would like to expand a current garden or start a school garden.

To enter the contest, contact your county Farm Bureau. One winner will be selected in each of Georgia Farm Bureau’s ten districts. Each district winner will receive a cash prize of $100. The state winner will be selected from these ten district winners. They will receive an additional cash prize of $150

If you would like to enter our essay contest, please submit this entry form and essay to your county Farm Bureau office.  Be sure to check with them on the county deadline!  The state deadline is March 9, 2018.

To learn how this essay contest matches up with Georgia Language Arts standards for students in grades six through eight, click here.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *