MGHS Student Wins Illinois Essay Contest

Ross Tompkins

Ross Tompkins of Smithboro, Illinois, has been named the Illinois state winner of the 2018 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “How can cooperatives demonstrate their value to the next generation of agriculturists?”

In his contest entry, Tompkins said: “The new generation of farmers are going to require more technical advancements such as grain tickets over the computer, or quicker and more efficient fertilizer applications using precision guidance technology. The new farmer wants speed, good customer service, efficiency, and fair prices for their goods. Also, the new generation of farmers want to keep the conventional benefits of the co-op, such as an assured source of supplies and competitive pricing.”

Tompkins is a student at Mulberry Grove High School and a member of the Mulberry Grove FFA chapter. His FFA advisor is Matt Elam.

As the contest winner, Tompkins will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Illinois FFA State Convention in Springfield, held in June. The Mulberry Grove FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of his accomplishment.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Brynn Bergen, Mercer County FFA, Seaton, Illinois; Mackenzie Brackett, LeRoy FFA, LeRoy, Illinois; Connor Sullivan, West Prairie FFA, Colchester, Illinois; and Sean Welch, ROWVA FFA, Knoxville, Illinois.

This is the 25th 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 agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at

Previous articlePocahontas Heads To Championship
Next articleMG FFA Public Speaking Success