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Iowa Student Authors Win Bushel of Stories Contest
Iowa Ag Connection - 06/07/2023

Two Iowa sisters, one in 4th grade and the other in 7th grade, have emerged as winners in their respective divisions in the annual Bushel of Stories agriculture writing contest. The contest, organized by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF), invited students in grades 3-8 to write a story book about agriculture or food. Nineteen student entries were submitted and judged, and the top winners in the elementary and middle school categories will have their books designed by Iowa artists and published.

The winners in the elementary division are as follows:

1st Place: Lucy Kehret, a 4th grade student in an elementary homeschool program taught by Alissa Kehret, submitted a book titled "R.P. The Farm Dog." 2nd Place: Eliza Hoy and Artemis Maddox, 4th grade students from Ionia, Iowa, co-authored a book titled "I Don't Live on a Farm." 3rd Place: Madelyn Kehret, a 5th grade student in an elementary homeschool program taught by Alissa Kehret, submitted a book titled "Skidder."

In the middle school division, the winners are:

1st Place: Sydney Kehret, a 7th grade student in a middle school homeschool program taught by Alissa Kehret, submitted a book titled "Megg and the Eggstraordinary Egg." 2nd Place: Rachael Weber, an 8th grade student taught by Peggy Keegan at Drexler Middle School in Farley, Iowa, submitted a book titled "The County Fair." 3rd Place: Gentry Grantz, a 6th grade student taught by Lisa LeConte at Northeast Central School District in Goose Lake, Iowa, submitted a book titled "Iowa Agriculture Story."

The first-place winners will have their books published and receive a $100 check and a plaque, while the second and third place winners will receive cash prizes and plaques as well. Additionally, the teachers of the winners will receive sets of books or publications related to agriculture.

The contest also provides an opportunity for Iowa artists to design agriculturally accurate books for their portfolios. Chloe Safley, a student at Drake University, will design the first-place elementary book, and Dylan Jacobson, an Iowa artist, will design the first-place middle school book in a graphic novel format.

Educators who participated in the contest used provided lesson plans and resources to guide their students through the writing process. The contest aims to inspire young authors and provide accurate agriculture books for young readers.

Digital copies of the books will be available to Iowa educators for free upon request, and accompanying lesson plans aligned with Iowa Core standards are also available.

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is committed to advancing agriculture literacy efforts through various projects and programs in collaboration with educators across Iowa. The foundation is supported by several organizations, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, and others.

For more information about the contest and future writing contests, visit the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation's website at

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