The Missouri Department of Agriculture is asking 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the state to show off their creative writing skills in an essay about famous scientist George Washington Carver.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chris Perkins talk with Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Dr. Jon Hagler about the contest.

Dr. Jon Hagler

Carver Essay Contest Takes Students Beyond Dirt, Peanuts

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – The deadline for Missouri fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students to participate in the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s George Washington Carver Essay Contest is rapidly approaching.  Students in public, private and home schools have just under two weeks to enter their essays on two of the cornerstones of agriculture – science and history.  The deadline is April 30.

“George Washington Carver’s contributions to agriculture are a great example of the importance of education and the power of positive thinking,” said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler.  “It’s appropriate that we celebrate the legacy of this great Missourian and outstanding friend to agriculture during the height of planting season.”

Students are encouraged to write a creative and inspirational essay related to this year’s theme, “If George Washington Carver were my teacher…” George Washington Carver’s story of starting life in slavery and becoming a prominent businessman and scholar is not only compelling, but also positions him as an outstanding role model.  His accomplishments, from advocating for soil conversation to identifying 300 uses for peanuts, continue to influence the agriculture industry.

The outstanding essay for each grade level will receive a $100 savings bond, and the top essay will receive a $200 savings bond.

Essays will be judged on creativity, originality, correctness of George Washington Carver facts and idea development, as well as grammar, word choice and organization.  Entries should be postmarked or hand-delivered to the Missouri Department of Agriculture in Jefferson City no later than April 30, 2011.  Essays may also be emailed to [email protected].

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit mda.mo.gov.