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Source: GROWMARK news release sent via AgPR--the news distribution service for agriculture

Heidi Kalb of Oelwein, Iowa, has been named the Iowa state winner of the 2013 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year's contest was "Fighting Domestic and Global Hunger."

In her contest entry, Kalb said: "Local cooperatives work hand in hand with farmers to help them combat domestic and global hunger. Giving small scale producers an opportunity to be involved in both the local and global food markets helps to instill the core values and principles of cooperatives and are critical in doing business in the worldwide market to produce a high quality product."

Kalb is a student at Oelwein High School and a member of the Oelwein FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Scott Smalley.

As the contest winner, Kalb will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference, held in Ames during April. The Oelwein FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment to help future students.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Ashley Harris, Creston FFA, Creston, Iowa; Matt Goode, North-Linn FFA, Spring Grove, Iowa; Noelle Gray, Horn O' Plenty FFA, Jefferson, Iowa; and Tari Knock, Clay Central/Everly FFA, Everly, Iowa.

This is the twentieth year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

GROWMARK is a regional cooperative providing agriculture-related products and services, as well as grain marketing in 43 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. The FS brand represents knowledgeable, experienced professionals acting with integrity and dedication to serve more than 250,000 customers. More information is available at

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