Student art contest promoting agriculture

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ohio students have a chance to showcase their artistic talent, visit the state fair, see Brad Paisley, and spread the word about Ohio agriculture in the process.

“Ag Is Cool” is a contest sponsored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio State Fair and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. This is the first year for the contest.

“It was prompting from the governor, who really wants to make a focus on how ‘Ag Is Cool,’” said Erica Pitchford, Ohio Department of Agriculture spokesperson. Pitchford said she thinks Gov. John Kasich even used the term in a meeting once.

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“Our charge from that office is to work on ways to highlight the 21st century aspects of the agricultural industry,” she said.

Pitchford said many young people don’t realize all of the cool and modern technology used in farming now, including tractors with GPS and equipment that shoots seeds into the ground with the speed of a machine gun.

“Agriculture is the biggest industry in the state of Ohio,” she said. “It is estimated that one in seven jobs in the state is related to agriculture and food.”

The contest is open to Ohio students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

The entrants are to represent how “Ag is cool” either by video, drawing, painting or photography. All entries must be postmarked by June 27.

Winners of the contest will be recognized at the Ohio State Fair by the Office of the Governor on July 27 at noon, and will receive two one-day passes for free admission to the Ohio State Fair, including admission to see Brad Paisley in concert at the fair, a total value of $90.

“We are hoping to get as many submissions as possible and be able to display them at the fair,” Pitchford said. “We’re looking forward to see what comes in.”

As a separate incentive, all Ohio fourth-grade students can present their report cards to get free admission to the fair, along with free admission for one parent.

The fourth-grader will be given a booklet of different places to visit, like a passport that will be stamped, Pitchford said.

More information can be found at