Manatee County students in grades six through 12 were eligible to compete in the annual Farm City Week Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District (MRSWCD) speech contest on November 8th. Designed to develop leadership through participation in public speaking activities and to stimulate interest in conserving our natural resources, the topic this year was “Healthy Soil, Healthy Life”. Two students submitted written transcripts of their speech and then shared information with the audience in 5-7 minute speeches.
Hayden Stolze, a Palmetto High School FFA student taught by Julie Tillett, won the competition which qualifies him to compete in an area contest to be held in the next year. Stolze was awarded a check for $150 by the District for his first place finish.
Placing second and awarded $100 was Haile Middle School FFA student Sophia Gagliano.
Both students were recognized at the Agricultural Hall of Fame Luncheon in Palmetto during the same week.
As a participating teacher, Haile Middle School FFA teacher Jessica Jones won the random drawing for a $50 gift certificate to purchase educational supplies for the classroom.
Judges were Robin Bryant, President of Magnolia Consulting; Jack Creighton, retired District Conservationist with USDA/NRCS; and Nelly Nelson, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with UF/IFAS Extension Service Manatee County.