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Speech contest winners announced


PIERRE, S.D.(KELO-AM) -The 53rd annual State Finals of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) Resource Conservation Speech Contest were held on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the State Capitol in Pierre.



Winning first place and a $1,100 scholarship was Kiera Leddy. Leddy was sponsored by the Grant County Conservation District and is a junior at Milbank High School. She is the daughter of Donnie and Krecia Leddy of Stockholm.



Receiving second place and a $750 scholarship was Joanna Geffre. Geffre was sponsored by the South Brown Conservation District and is a freshman at Aberdeen Central High School. She is the daughter of Jeannie Ryncarz of Aberdeen.



Receiving third place and a $450 scholarship was Tiffany Schell. Schell was sponsored by the Pennington Conservation District and is a sophomore at New Underwood High School. She is the daughter of Steve and Lynn Schell of Rapid City.



Scholarships totaling $2,300 for the winners are provided by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of South Dakota. The contest is co-sponsored by the SDDA, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts.



The theme of this year’s contest was “Why Conservation Saved Us from Another Dust Bowl.” South Dakota high school students first participated in a local contest sponsored by their conservation district. Two students from each district were then eligible to participate in an area contest.



From there, the top two winners from each of the designated areas were eligible to advance to the state finals. This year, 10 contestants competed in the state finals.



Next year’s theme is “Technology: Bridging the Conservation Generation Gap.” For more information, contact your local conservation district office or SDDA at 605.773.3623.



To read the winning speeches and view pictures of the contestants, please visit: http://sdda.sd.gov/conservation-forestry/educational-programs/resource-conservation-speech-contest/.



Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating over $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 122,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online athttp://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter.





Editor’s Note: At the bottom of this release is a link to the website containing the PDF file of the winning speech, pictures of the contestants and pictures of the winners.