“As a company, Syngenta knows that one of the greatest investments we can make is in those who will bring new ideas and innovations to the industry. And, awarding scholarships to gifted students like Andrew Gascho Landis, Jarrod Hardke, Matthew Turner and Sara Kovachich reminds me that we have some very talented future leaders in our midst. We’re pleased we can support these students and, in turn, encourage them as they pursue various agricultural related careers.”

To view the winning essays, go to http://www.FutureofSouthernAg.com and click “View the Complete List of 2010 Winners.” Please, take a few minutes to read the students’ work.

This year’s contest received a record 71 entries, and competition was the toughest yet. So much so, that additional students are worthy of recognition for their excellent efforts. In the graduate category, they include: Mark Swapp, Texas A&M University; Cody John Silverberg, Texas Tech University; Erica Petre, North Carolina State University; and Leah Harris, Virginia Tech.

Honorable mentions in the undergraduate category include: Carolyn Ann Lacey, University of Missouri; Sara Alexandra Smeiser, University of Missouri; Melissa Snyder, University of Georgia; and Kyle Nette, Virginia Tech.

Special thanks are also in order for university liaisons for making the Future of Southern Ag essay contest a success and disseminating information to the students at their respective universities.

This year’s judging panel included: Jim Arnold, manager of advertising and promotions, Helena Chemical Company; Paul Hollis, editor, Southeast Farm Press; Erika Osmundson, marketing and communications manager, AgCareers.com; Elton Robinson, editor, Delta Farm Press; Jennifer Shaw, head of sustainability in North America, Syngenta Crop Protection; Commissioner Mike Strain, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry; Marjory Walker, director of communications, Production and Audio Visual Services, National Cotton Council; and Ron Smith, editor, Southwest Farm Press.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com