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Local students turn imagined ag stories into award winners
ag foundation pic
Mary Bunn and Morgan Gravatt of Gratton School in Denair have been named regional winners of the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classrooms Imagine this story writing contest. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

One local student imagined how an ordinary egg journeys to the supermarket and eventually the breakfast platter.  Another taught a city girl what it takes to live on a farm.  Still another explained the importance of barn owls during harvest season.

These three young authors won top honors in the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom’s 18th annual “Imagine this…” writing contest.

For Gratton Elementary fourth grader Morgan Gravatt, seeing her story “Farm Fun” win for a second consecutive year was definitely a highlight of the contest.  Gravatt competed last year and was also recognized by the CFFA.

“Writing short stories for me is fun because I like to explain everything in detail,” said Gravatt.  “I put a lot of my own experiences into my story because I live on a sheep farm and know what it takes to live on a farm.”

Hundreds of California teachers participate in this contest annually by assigning their students the task of researching an aspect of agriculture, and challenging them to incorporate these facts into their own creative story.

“Over 10,000 stories are written and submitted in the state of California,” said Pennie Segna, a fourth grade teacher at Gratton Elementary.  “The fact that two of our students were recognized is simply amazing.”

Mary Bunn, a seventh grader at Gratton, was inspired through her fascination with owls in writing a story about the importance of barn owls on the farm.

“I combined my love for owls and writing to create a short story that I am proud of,” said Bunn.  “I never thought I would win.  This recognition is very exciting and makes me want to try harder for next year’s short story.”

“The 'Imagine this…' contest helps enhance students’ research and writing skills while they learn about various agriculture topics and the important role agriculture plays in their lives,” said Judy Culbertson, the foundation’s executive director.  “It gives students the opportunity to explore the world of agriculture without even visiting a farm.”

Sixth grader Grace Gemperle of Sacred Heart School incorporated her egg farming roots into her story to detail the journey of how ordinary eggs go from the farm to supermarket, and eventually into homes.

“My dad is an egg farmer and takes me to work sometimes to his farm,” said Gemperle.  “My story was inspired through my dad and it feels amazing to be recognized and selected.  I never knew I had a talent of writing and this recognition makes me want to write more short stories.”

The young authors will have their stories printed and visually adapted into a book which will debut during National Agriculture Week on March 20 in Sacramento.