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FFA teens take top honors in Soybean Board’s video contest

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Winner entry can be seen on youtube

By Celia McDonald

Four LaRue County FFA students will share $5,000 in a contest sponsored by The Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board.

Valerie Sherrard and Emilee Whitt took first place while Craig Dunn and Julia Johnson took second in a video contest sponsored by the board. The teams produced videos themed “#1 Advocate for Animals” that were shown on the Internet site www.youtube.com. Winners were decided based on number of views.

Sherrard and Whitt had 22,144 views in the month-long contest and won $3,000. Their video was about grazing lands.

Dunn and Johnson had 21,971 views and won $2,000. Their video was about dairy farming.

The third place entry from Meade County had 17,361 views.

The LaRue County FFA Chapter will be awarded $3,000 as well. According to the KSPB rules, a chapter could qualify for one cash award.

Sherrard and Whitt said they “procrastinated” on their video – but it was still well-received by viewers.

Dunn and Johnson said they worked on their video about two weeks. They plan to use their winnings for transportation and college.

The contest was devised “to inform and educate a positive message regarding farmers and their commitment to animal agriculture and the safety and well-being of the animals they produce,” according to the KSB Web site. Video creativity, originality and factual information were judged by an independent panel to choose the top 10 videos submitted across the state.

Videos were required to be between 30 seconds and a minute in length, family friendly and show a positive farm message.

A section of the Web site permitted comments from viewers. Most were positive, however, there was some dissension from vegans.

It’s the second year LaRue County students have won the contest. Last year, cousins B.J. Sullivan and Cody Sullivan won with 63,000 views for their “Awesome Food and Fuel Video.”

Sherrard and Whitt’s video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLqwLpXE-3U.

Dunn and Johnson’ video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41HCsQaGKB0.