Nevada County students earn statewide Ag honors |

Nevada County students earn statewide Ag honors

The Union staff

Two Nevada County student authors have been named regional winners of California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom's Imagine this … Story Writing Contest.

From the more than 8,000 essays written by third- to eighth-grade students across the state, Bridget O'Rourke, fifth grade, Mount Saint Mary's Academy, won for her story, "Skippy the Little Christmas Tree," and Abby Weir, seventh grade, Magnolia Intermediate, for her story, "Busy Bee."

The students were selected for their creativity, writing skills and positive interpretation of California agriculture industry.

Hundreds of California teachers participate in this contest annually by assigning their students the task of researching an aspect of agriculture and challenging them to incorporate these facts into their own creative story.

The success of this contest is largely attributed to the fact that it meets state English Language Arts teaching requirements and also provides an opportunity for students to explore new topics.

"The Imagine this … contest helps enhance students' research and writing skills while they learn about various agricultural topics and the important role agriculture plays in their lives," said Judy Culbertson, the foundation's executive director. "It gives students the opportunity to explore the world of agriculture without even visiting a farm."

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State winners of the contest were announced Jan. 1 and will have their stories printed and visually adapted into a book entitled "Imagine this … Stories Inspired by Agriculture," featuring illustrations by students from California high school art departments.

The book will debut during National Agriculture Week in March in Sacramento.

The contest's purpose is to promote reading, writing and the arts and to further the public's understanding of agriculture.

A full list of regional winners is posted online at

For information, contact Stephanie Etcheverria, program coordinator at 800-700-AITC.

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