The Agriculture Council of America is calling on seventh- to 12th-grade students to submit an original essay of 450 words about the importance of agriculture. This year's theme is ‘Agriculture - Bigger Than You Think.’ The deadline is Feb. 15.

This year's topic highlights the diversity of today's American farms. Though row crops and livestock are the foundation of the industry, agriculture today has multiple touch points in our daily lives and many career opportunities.

This year's national winner will receive a $1,000 prize and round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C. The winner will have the opportunity to join with industry representatives, members of Congress, federal agency representatives, media and other friends in a celebration of agriculture. Statewide winners of the contest also will be selected. Each will receive a $100 prize.

All entries should be sent to: Ag Day Contest, Agriculture Council of America, 11020 King Street, Suite 205, Overland Park, KS 66210, or submitted by e-mail to essay@agday.org. Entry applications and official rules for the contest can be found at www.hpj.com/agdayessay.