Commissioner Shell announces winners of 2024 KDA Poster and Essay Contest

Theme of ‘Agriculture for a Better Kentucky’ reflects on agriculture’s importance to the state


FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 23, 2024) – Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell has announced the winners of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s annual Poster and Essay Contest. The theme of the contest, “Agriculture for a Better Kentucky,” reflected on the important role of agriculture in Kentucky.


“Learning the importance of agriculture starts at a young age. Emphasizing that importance through the artwork and essays from students across our Commonwealth is the best way to showcase the writing and artistic talent of our students while providing the knowledge that agriculture is essential to our state and our world,” Commissioner of Agriculture Jonathan Shell said. “Congratulations to each of these winners. We owe our farmers a lot of gratitude and these pieces of art are just a small show of appreciation for what they bring to our economy.”


The KDA received 1,065 entries, including 970 posters. Each winning entry received a $100 award from Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom and will be displayed at the 2024 Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville. Winning students will be honored on May 18 at the University of Kentucky’s Football Recruiting Room at Kroger Field.


Participants will then be guests at the University of Kentucky versus Vanderbilt baseball game at Kentucky Proud Park.


The digital winner, which includes photos or original digital artwork, is 11th-grader Mattie Reynolds of Hopkins County Central High School.


Poster winners are:

  • Kindergarten: Ella Ruth Lowe, South Edmonson Elementary
  • First grade: Erina Shiroyama, Jody Richards Elementary School
  • Second grade: Spencer Avery, Muhlenberg South Elementary School
  • Third grade: Emma Midkiff, Muhlenberg South Elementary School
  • Fourth grade: Wilma Farmer, Heritage Elementary School
  • Fifth grade: Layla Farmer, Heritage Elementary School
  • Sixth grade: Louis Walker, West Hardin Middle School
  • Seventh grade: Isabella Lee, West Hardin Middle School
  • Eighth grade: Kayelee Frizzell, Bloomfield Middle School
  • Ninth grade: Blakely Beth Callahan, South Laurel High School
  • 10th grade: Amaya Ogata, Summit Christian Academy
  • 11th grade: Lauren Seebold, Spencer County High School
  • 12th grade: Emily Shaw, Metcalfe County Senior High School


Essay winners are:

  • Kindergarten (tie): Philip McKemy, McKemy Academy
  • Kindergarten (tie): Matthew McKemy, McKemy Academy
  • First grade: Ava Lee, Austin Tracy Elementary
  • Second grade: Easton Dunn, Southern Elementary School
  • Third grade: Colt McFarland, St. Mary School
  • Fourth grade: Ashleigh McDonald, Waco Elementary School
  • Fifth grade: Jameah Kirby, Metcalfe Elementary School
  • Sixth grade: Lauren Forbis, East Hardin Middle School
  • Seventh grade: Ava Burton, Hickman County High School
  • Eighth grade: Sylvia Mason, Noe Middle School
  • Ninth grade: AdyMae Williams, Central Hardin High School
  • 10th grade: Mason Graham, Summit Christian Academy
  • 11th grade: Varshitha Ramesh, Western Hills High School
  • 12th grade: Thomas Fox, Spencer County High School
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