Columbia County boasts two first-place winners in a recent statewide Agriculture Day competition.
Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agriculture in the Classroom Council Inc., the contest was held to highlight the contributions farmers and agribusinesses make to Georgia and to the nation.
The contest theme was "Agriculture - for a Secure Future."
Greenbrier High School senior Amir Warsi, 17, earned first place in the high school essay contest in which he wrote about agriculture in the future.
"I was very happy with myself," he said when he heard from his horticulture teacher that he'd won. Amir, of Evans, said he's always been good at writing and was encouraged to enter the contest by his horticulture teacher after he competed in a regional horticulture speech competition in Swainsboro in the fall.
Olivia Waller, 11, wasn't the first to find out she'd won first place in the fourth through eighth grade art contest. Her fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary School opened the award letter while she was out of class.
"But it was exciting," Olivia said.
Olivia's artwork, created under the same theme, was featured on the front cover of the Department of Agriculture's March 14 Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. It features a clay pot and a ceramic bowl filled with fresh vegetables including pumpkins, gourds and sweet corn.
Amir and Olivia submitted their entries in January. Olivia said she worked on her artwork with her private art teachers, Clive and Diane Sweet.
All winners, including several other Columbia County winners, were invited to an awards presentation in Atlanta on March 15. Amir didn't attend the ceremony, but Olivia said she made it to the event at the state Capitol in Atlanta. The ceremony featured Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin and a visit by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Teen Ms. Georgia Agriculture Logan Scott presented $200, $100 and $50 cash awards to first-, second- and third-place winners respectively and certificates and medals to all winners including honorable mention award winners.
Other Columbia County residents receiving recognition include: honorable mention to Greenbrier High's Andre J. Bennett in the high school essay category; honorable mention to Haley Christian, of North Harlem Elementary, in the fourth through eighth grade art contest; and honorable mention to Greenbrier High's Austin Peters in the high school art category.
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