COLUMBUS — Two local students know first hand that “Agriculture is Cool.”
Jessie Abke, 11, daughter of Chris and Hope Abke, of Sidney, and Owen DeMange, 8, son of Stacy and Kevin DeMange, of Versailles, were two of the winners in the 2015 “Agriculture is Cool” visital arts contest.
Jessie won with a painting in the third through fifth-grade competition. This is the third time she has won in her age category.
Owen won with his painting in the kindergarten through second-grade competition. Owen’s sister, Asa, won last year.
Gov. John R. Kasich and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels announced the winners for the contest Wednesday, which was the opening day of the Ohio State Fair. Ohio children enrolled in school or home schooled during the 2014-15 academic year shared their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is “cool” for their chance to win tickets to the Ohio State Fair.
Entries, which included photographs, drawings, and paintings, were judged in four different age categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Seven entries were selected as winners in their respective categories.
• K-2 Drawing: Colten Doggett, New Carlisle, Clark County, age 7
• K-2 Painting: Owen DeMange, Versailles, Darke County, age 8
• 3-5 Drawing: Sarah Konecny, Perrysburg, Wood County, age 9
• 3-5 Painting: Jessie Abke, Sidney, Shelby County, age 11
• 3-5 Photograph: Riley Yunker, Mt. Gilead, Morrow County, age 10
• 6-8 Drawing: Ashton Gessner, Sherwood, Defiance County, age 12
• 9-12 Photograph: Caleb Sullivan, London, Madison County, age 15
The winners were honored by Kasich, Daniels and Ohio State Fair Manager Virgil Strickler at a ceremony at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. To celebrate the fifth year of the Ag is Cool contest, many former winners were also in attendance and recognized during the event.
“The Ag is Cool! Creative Expression Contest is helping to keep young people interested in agriculture and educated about the importance of the industry to our state,” said Daniels. “We are proud to recognize all of the winners, past and present, ho’ve helped to make this program such a success.”
This year also marks the fifth year of the “Ag is Cool!” education program featured at the Ohio State Fair, July 29-Aug. 9.