June 21, 2016 10:42 ET

Local Kingston Area 4-H Youth Named 2016 GROWMARK Essay Contest Winner

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 21, 2016) - Kieran Shannon of Glenburnie, Ontario, has been named the Ontario provincial winner of the 2016 GROWMARK essay contest for 4-H members. The theme of this year's contest was "What can young people to do ensure the sustainability of agriculture?"

In his contest entry, Shannon said: "People need to realize the facts! I believe that it is our job as today's farming youth to step up and lead the way by having honest and balanced conversations. We have the ability to change the way our generation views modern farming and we can show people how sustainability in agriculture means protecting the land for future productivity. Benefits of technological advancements on the farm far outweighs the perceived risks. We need to change the way people view agriculture in the 21st century."

Kieran Shannon is a student at La Salle Secondary School in Kingston and a member of the Frontenac 4-H Association.

As the contest winner, Shannon receives a $500 award from GROWMARK and the Frontenac 4-H Association also receives a $300 award in honour of his accomplishment to help future students.

Two provincial runners-up each receive a $125 award. The runners-up (in alphabetical order) are: Sarah Campbell, Chatham-Kent 4-H Association, student at Blenheim District High School and Mikayla Ringelberg, Hamilton Wentworth 4-H Association, student at Hamilton District Christian High School.

This is the fifth year for the Essay Program in Ontario in partnership with 4-H Ontario, but the 23th year for the program in the United States, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member co-operatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The essay contest was designed to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of co-operatives.

GROWMARK is a regional co-operative with annual sales of $8.8 billion (FY 2015 data) providing agronomy, energy, and grain marketing and risk management services in the province of Ontario and 40 states in the United States. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member co-operatives. More information is available at

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