INDIANAPOLIS, IN. — The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) and the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), in conjunction with the Indianapolis Colts, announced the winners of the Hoosier Horsepower Essay Contest today. The winning essays were submitted by Kelly Beeker of Greenfield-Central High School, Bradley Fey of Roncalli High School, Erica Stewart of Columbus North High School and Udit Vyas of Castle High School. Each student will receive $2,000 to help reduce college education-related expenses.


On behalf of Indiana’s corn and soybean farmers, the Colts donated $100 towards the awards for each catch made by Indianapolis Colts tight ends last season. The Hoosier Horsepower Program has been educating Hoosiers about the impact of farming on our state for three years.


“Partnering with the Indianapolis Colts to reward the hard work of these four Indiana high school seniors is a great honor for all Hoosier corn and soybean farmers,” said Mike Shuter, ICMC President and farmer from Madison County. “The purpose of the Hoosier Horsepower program with the Colts is to connect Hoosiers with their neighbors on the farm and these students understand that connection.”

To be eligible for the essay competition, applicants had to be a high school senior in Indiana and plan to enroll in an accredited college or university within the United States pursuing either an associate or bachelor degree for the 2012-2013 school year. Academic achievement, leadership and community service were considered in addition to their essay detailing how today’s farmers are working to tackle tomorrow’s needs for food, fiber and fuel.

“We are excited about the response from high school students across the state and are impressed with their insightful essays on what agriculture and farmers bring to our society,” said Kevin Wilson, ISA President and farmer from Cass County. “The four winners of the Hoosier Horsepower essay contest all did a great job talking about the important role Indiana’s farmers and their families play when it comes to providing not only food but also so many other products to the world.”

Parents and students can go to to learn more. Below are excerpts from the winning essays.

“The Colts organization is excited to partner with Indiana’s corn and soybean farmers to help these students continue their education,” said Jay Souers, Colts Senior Vice President of Sales. “Farming and education will always be important to our state. The Hoosier Horsepower program continues to be a great way to affect both those areas.”

Kelly Beeker, Greenfield-Central High School, Greenfield, Ind.
By the year 2050, it is estimated that the global population will reach nine billion people. This number will challenge farmers and other agricultural producers more than ever before to provide enough food, fiber, and fuel, which will be demanded… It is astonishing how many people do not realize how vital our farmers are to the well-being of our world. Not only are the farmers essential, but also their land. Read the entire essay here.

Bradley Fey, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
Farmers today are also taking on the challenges of producing fiber and fuel while trying to be sustainable to the Mother Earth’s natural resources. There is no question that the dependency on foreign oil is a gigantic problem for the United States of America. I believe that the farmers of the Midwest are now giving the United States government healthy, viable and competitive alternatives to conventional crude oil by producing ethanol.  Read the entire essay here.

Erica Stewart, Columbus North High School, Columbus, Ind.
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” This is a quote from Walt Disney, which has been used to link what is taking place in the world of agriculture... The farmer knows he/she cannot outsmart Mother Nature, but can still prepare for a poor outcome. Each crop year has its own set of circumstances, bringing something new to the table time and time again. Preparing for these circumstances is challenging. Read the entire essay here.

Udit Vyas, Castle High School, Newburgh, Ind.
With mouths to feed, and fuel demands to meet, farmers face an ever-growing demand, and as the population eats and preserves the environment, they forget about the hard-working farmers and scientists who made it all possible. As the population has increased, arable farming land has not. That means scientists and farmers have had to come up with ways to improve efficiency of farming; a thankless task when they succeed and a task with far reaching consequences if they fail. Read the entire essay here.

For more information, contact: Chuck O’Hara, Indianapolis Colts at (317) 808-5247 or Megan Kuhn, Indiana Corn Marketing Council Communications Director at (317) 644-0377.