CALM Essay Contest

Where: Ontario Classrooms

During March 2019, AgScape will celebrate Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) by running its first-ever written or video essay contest. This contest will be open to Ontario students in Grades 7-12.

What’s The Topic?

 “What Agriculture Means to Me”

AgScape encourages students to describe how agriculture impacts their daily life and how it will feed the world’s growing population.

All entrants are expected to support their position with credible facts. As you prepare your entry, consider the following:

  • Global population is projected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. How will we feed these people?
  • Increasing global consumer interest in how food is produced and processed
  • Popularity and growth of high protein diets featuring plant-based protein
  • Health and fitness driving food buying habits
  • Influence of technology and biotechnology on food production, such as precision agriculture, drones and GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
  • The small number of students entering agriculture as a career versus the number of job openings
  • The average age of today’s farmer is 55 years old. Who will take over in the next generation?

What’s The Deadline?

Midnight on April 5, 2019

Who Can Enter?

The contest is open to Ontario students who are Canadian citizens in Grades 7 through 12 during the 2018-2019 school year. Contestants are limited to only one written OR video essay entry.

Download the CALM Essay Contest Flyer

Download the CALM Essay Contest Entry Form

What Can Students Win?

We will be offering six (6) prizes total for the following categories:

Junior Division (Grade 7 & 8) -  Two (2) winners selected for written and video essays

Intermediate Division (Grade 9 & 10) - Two (2) winners selected for written and video essays

Senior Division (Grade 11 & 12) - Two (2)  winners selected for written and video essays

Each winner will receive a pair of movie passes and a pizza party for their entire class.  
Note: Group entries are only eligible for one pair of movie tickets.

What Are The Rules?

  1. The 2019 AgScape Essay Contest will be divided into three categories:
    Junior Division (Grade 7 & 8)
    Intermediate Division (Grade 9 & 10)
    Senior Division (Grade 11 & 12)
  2. Group and individual submissions will be accepted. Multiple prizes will not be awarded for group entries.
  3. Contestants must compose an original written or video essay. Interviews with industry professionals are acceptable research. Please state your sources wherever possible.
  4. Contestants acknowledge and agree that their entries become the property of AgScape, which has the right to edit, reproduce and/or publish entries without compensation. AgScape can also use the winners’ name and city or town.
  5. Contestants under 18 years of age will require the signature of a parent/guardian on the entry form.
  6. AgScape cannot confirm receipt of entries. AgScape does not accept responsibility for lost, misdirected, illegible, damaged, incomplete, postage due or late entries.

What Are The Rules For The Written Essay?

  1. Each entry must begin with a title page containing: official topic “What Agriculture Means to Me”, number of words, writer’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, school name and grade.
  2. Essays must be typed, numbered, double-spaced and contain 500-750 words.
  3. Any quotation or copyrighted materials used in the essay must be identified either in the essay or as a footnote. 
  4. Essay may be written in English or French.
  5. All essays must be accompanied by an entry form, which is included with this package. If emailed, it must be in Word or PDF format. Please send by either mail or email – not both. Send to:

    2019 CALM Essay ContestC/O AgScape
    8560 Tremaine Road
    PO Box 460
    Milton, Ontario
    L9T 4Z1

    Subject : 2019 CALM Essay Contest

What Are The Rules For A Video Essay?

  1. All uploaded videos must be .MP4 and no more than six (6) minutes in length.
  2. The beginning of the video must include the official topic “What Agriculture Means to Me”
  3. The file name of the video must be the topic of the video and the students name (e.g. whatagmeanstome_johnsmith.mp4).
  4. Entry can be in English or French.
  5. Video Format Options:
    - A PowerPoint designed by the student accompanied by voice over and/or video (e.g. video recording     software such as is an easy online tool to record video and PowerPoint)
    - The video may be made using whiteboard software such as VideoScribe
    - Video may include other creative components such as interviews, news broadcast, monologues         dialogues or speeches.
  6. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification. 
  7. All videos must be accompanied by an entry form. Please submit by either mail or email – not both.
  8. Entries must not violate any copyrights or trademarks, including music used in the video.
  9. To submit your video essay, please post the video submission on Youtube, then provide the video URL to AgScape in a Word document or pdf along with your entry form.

Who Will Judge These Entries?

A panel of qualified judges will include experts in the agriculture industry and AgScape staff.

How Will They Be Scored?

Written Essay

  • Material Organization (logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic): 40 points
  • Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling: 20 points
  • Originality: 20 points
  • Creativity: 20 points

Video Essay

  • Logical Interpretation of Subject, Adherence to Topic: 25 points
  • Originality: 25 points
  • Innovation and Creativity: 25 points
  • Visual Esthetics: 25 points

How Will I Know Who Won?

The winners of each division (Junior, Intermediate and Senior) will be contacted in April via phone. All winners will be announced to the public and media following the initial phone call. Non-winning entries will not be notified. To check if an entry won, visit the website:

For more information, please contact:

Cassi Brunsveld, AgScape Program Assistant
RE: 2019 CALM Essay Contest.

Download the CALM Essay Contest Flyer

Download the CALM Essay Contest Entry Form



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