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Ryan Quarles talks about farming to, from left, FFA chapter president Kayla Rice, vice-president Sydney Brown, Emmett Boggess and Erin Borders in 2018.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is encouraging students to participate in agricultural-based programs such as the KDA Poster and Essay Contest and college internships.

Commissioner Quarles is encouraging college-age students seeking a career in agriculture to apply for KDA’s internship program for the summer of 2020.

“A KDA internship gives a young person the opportunity to work alongside department employees and serve the citizens of the commonwealth,” Quarles said. “Our past interns used their experience at the department to launch careers in agriculture or an ag-related field. Some have even come back to the KDA to enter public service. If you are a college student with an interest in an agricultural career, we look forward to reviewing your application.”

The internship program, in addition to agricultural-based fields, may also work in the fields of education, computer science, marketing, communications and pre-law, as well as other fields.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college, university or vocational-technical program. Enrollment includes graduate and undergraduate enrollment.

Those students interested can download the application on the KDA’s website at kyagr.com/marketing/internshipprogram.html and fill it out.

Applicants must provide a resume, cover letter and three references.

The application and attachments must be emailed to mark.white@ky.gov or mailed to Mark White, director of the division of human resources, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 107 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601

Applications must be postmarked no later than Dec. 16.

For more information, go to kyagr.com/marketing/internshipprogram.html or contact Mark White at (502) 782-0291 or mark.white@ky.gov.

The KDA Poster and Essay Contest is open to students K-12, and this year’s theme is Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow.

“I hope every Kentucky student will submit an entry to express in art and writing how our farmers all across the state are helping to grow the safest, most abundant food supply in the world,” Quarles said.

Students in grades K-12 may submit one poster, an essay of 500 words or less, or a digital entry, which may be photos or original digital artwork.

Each entry must include the actual written theme and must be postmarked by Friday, March 20.

Winners will be notified by Friday, April 17. Winners in the poster and essay competitions will be selected in each grade. One statewide winner will be selected for digital artwork. Each winner will receive a $100 award and will be recognized at the 2020 Poster and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony later next year. Winning entries will be displayed at the 2020 Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.

For more information, including complete contest rules and an entry form, go to kyagr.com/marketing/ag-education.html or contact Elizabeth Gordon, director of the KDA’s Education and Outreach Division, at elizabeth.gordon@ky.gov or (502) 782-4125.

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