The annual speech contest, sponsored by the Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District, is designed to develop leadership through public speaking activities and stimulate interest in conserving our natural resources. The contest is one of the first events on the Manatee County Farm City Week schedule.
The speech contest was held on Thursday, November 8th at the Manatee County Extension Service Office-Kendrick Auditorium. The speech topic, selected each year by the Association of Florida Conservation Districts, was ‘Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper’. The students submitted a written transcript of their speech and spoke for 5-7 minutes on the topic.
Did you know that the official state soil of Florida was established as Myakka fine sand by the legislature in 1989? Myakka fine sand is unique to Florida, occurring in more than one-and-a-half million acres of flatwoods, making it the most extensive soil in the state.
Megan Hosker, placed first and was awarded a certificate and a check for $150. Hosker has been invited to the Farm City Week Hall of Fame luncheon along with her parents and teacher, where the 2018 inductee to the Manatee County Agricultural Museum Hall of Fame will be honored. Hosker will be recognized at the luncheon.
Left to right: John J. O’Connor, Board Supervisor, Gail Somodi, Soil Conservation Supervisor, and Megan Hosker, first place student.
Placing second, was Leah Achenbach who was awarded a certificate and a check for $100. Both students are FFA members taught by Julie Tillett at Palmetto High School.
Left to right: John J. O’Connor, Board Supervisor, Gail Somodi, Soil Conservation Supervisor, and Leah Achenbach, second place student.
By winning this local competition, Hosker has qualified to compete at the area speech contest in the spring. One winner from the area contest will advance to the state contest held in the summer at the state Association of Florida Conservation Districts annual meeting.
Tillett will receive a $50 gift certificate for educational supplies for her classroom.
Left to right: From Palmetto High School-Megan Hosker, 1st place; Julie Tillett, teacher; and Leah Achenbach, 2nd place.
Serving as judges were Nelly Nelson, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent and Manatee County Government Toastmasters program participant; John Hamilton, chemical/fertilizer representative, retired; and Martha Glenn, Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent.
Visit manateeriverswcd.com to learn more about the Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District activities.