Soil conservation art, writing contest winners announced


Pictured: Ella Thomas, an Abraham Lincoln Elementary School student, had the winning entry for the Jim Claypool Art Contest through LaRue County Conservation. She drew a picture of a tree, and then used butterflies cut out from real leaves to use as leaves for her entry.

By Ron Benningfield

LaRue County winners of the Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contests have been announced.

Overall writing winners include students Biven Turner and Yasmeen Hamada from LaRue County Middle School and Myah Meredith from LaRue County High School.

Overall art winners are Ella Thomas and Emily Detre from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School and Makayla Benningfield from Hodgenville Elementary School.

Thousands of students have participated since the writing contest was introduced in 1944 and the art contest in 1974.

The contests educate students on soil, water, forestry and wildlife conservation. Students take the knowledge they have gained and transform it into creative art work and essays. They can earn monetary prizes on the county, regional and state levels. They are also recognized each year by conservation districts around the state.

Kentucky students in sixth through 12th grades are eligible to compete in the writing contest. Only students through fifth grade may compete in the art contest. A student may not enter both the Jim Claypool Conservation Art Contest and the Conservation Writing Contest during the same contest.

For many years, The Courier Journal was a major sponsor of the contest through the printing of the contest tabloids and sponsoring of U.S. Savings Bonds. In 2008, the contest entered a new era by only publishing its tabloid online.

The contest is made possible through sponsors such as the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and 121 conservation districts across the state.  

“The LaRue County Conservation District Board was truly impressed with the number of submissions in each category and we truly appreciate each and every one as well as the teachers who participated,” noted Paula McDowell-Wood with LaRue Conservation District.

Overall and school winners will be recognized at the conservation district’s annual banquet March 9 at LaRue County’s Extension Office. 

Below is a list of school winners and their teachers:

LCMS writing winners include Biven Turner (James Russell), Yasmeen Hamada(Andrea Morris), and Connor Nicholas(Eddie Paden).

LCHS writing winners are Myah Meredith (Chris Thomas), Cassidy Morgan (Chris Thomas) and Candyce Magill (Summer Garris).

ALES art winners include Ella Thomas (Denise Brown), Emily Detre (Denise Brown)

And Sophia Thompson (D.J. Canter).

HES art winners are Makayla Benningfield (Laura Evans), Jade Clifford (Laura Kudrna), and Hailey Richards (Traci Weaver).

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