Lake Mills FFA Member Snags Grant for Chapter with Essay Contest Win

Sydney Burling of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, has been named the Wisconsin state winner of the 2021 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “If you could invent a new technology to improve agriculture, what would it be?” Students were encouraged to think creatively, not necessarily realistically, as they described their ideal invention.

In her contest entry, Burling said: “An invention that I would like to invent to help improve agriculture is a pollen solution that doesn’t come from a bee, but is created in a lab. The pollen would be produced and spread a lot faster than the average huge bee could spread pollen.”

Burling is a student at Lake Mills High School and a member of the Lake Mills FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Luke Wiedenfeld.

As the contest winner, Burling will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK. The Lake Mills FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Eve Ihlenfeld, Slinger FFA Chapter, West Bend, Wisconsin; Chase Patterson, Unity FFA Chapter, Centuria, Wisconsin; Taryn Smits, Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA Chapter, Cambria, Wisconsin; and Collin Zimmermann, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah FFA Chapter, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
This is the 28th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.
GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services throughout North America. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at