After receiving more than 155,000 votes in the "Stand and Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest," FMC Agricultural Products Group (APG) announces the four finalists to continue on in the competition. Allison Nohre from De Pere, Wis.; Lexie Sistrunk from Oak Grove, La.; Jessica Smith from Picayune, Miss.; and Katie Wesler from Birmingham, Ala.; have been selected as finalists by popular online vote. Videotaped interviews and performances of the four finalists will be aired on RFD-TV on Oct. 4 with online voting to determine the grand prize winner.
"The broadcast on RFD-TV will give the public a chance to get to know the four finalists," said Timothy Thompson, product manager, FMC APG. "I look forward to hearing these young people's stories about how agriculture has influenced their lives already."
Selected by popular vote, the four finalists include:
Nohre, involved in FFA for the past four years, is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls majoring in agriculture studies. At 18 years old, she spent her high school career serving in leadership positions in FFA, including president for two years and officer for three years. She also participated in the National and Wisconsin State FFA Bands.
The youngest entrant in the contest at 13 years old, Sistrunk has been involved in 4-H since she was in the fourth grade. Her father was the 4-H agent for years and now serves as ag agent, which led to her involvement in 4-H. She is active in showing goats, chickens and horses, and also participates in cooking contests. Sistrunk sings in many town festivals and is currently taking voice lessons.
Smith, 17 years old, is an active member of both 4-H and FFA, whose entire life has revolved around agriculture. For nearly 10 years, Smith have exhibited livestock at 4-H and FFA shows, and participated in other agricultural-related competitions. She also assists her father, a third-generation farmer, with growing hay and corn for their cattle along with other produce for their family. Currently a senior in high school, Smith plans to attend Mississippi State University next year to study agribusiness.
A 20 year old from Birmingham, Ala., Wesler is involved in agriculture through FFA, Ohio Young Farmers and the National Young Farmers Educational Association (NYFEA). She was raised on a third-generation farm and looks forward to producing foods that contribute to the good health of the general public. She often supports local farmers markets and wants to eventually supply produce to an urban market. Wesler is currently a student at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Voting for the finalists will take place between Sept. 24 and Oct. 19. Three of the finalists will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship. The grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 college scholarship. The grand prize winner will be announced on Oct. 24.
From March through mid-July, more than 170 entries were received from agricultural students representing 34 states. Entrants of the "Stand and Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest" included members of national ag-related student organizations, such as FFA, 4-H or student NAMA chapters, with a background and interest in agriculture or agribusiness. Voting will be open to anyone beginning Sept. 24 by logging on to www.FMCcrop.com/contest.
FMC has additional plans to invest in farming's future with the anticipated EPA registration (EPA registration is currently pending) of two new herbicides, Anthem and Anthem ATZ, in late 2012.