Eighth-grade students throughout Indiana wrote essays focusing on this year’s theme, “Memorable Cookouts from Hoosier Farms” in the Dick Lugar/Indiana Farm Bureau/Farm Bureau Insurance Co.’s Agricultural Essay Contest.

Students were asked to reflect on cookouts they have shared with their families and then describe the items on the menu that made them spectacular.

The participants were instructed to consider the nutritional value contained in their favorite dishes and to address the diversity and versatility of Hoosier agricultural products.

A farmer and former small businessman, Lugar created the contest as a way to teach Hoosier youth about the state’s agricultural heritage.

County winners will now compete at the district level. District winners will be invited to attend the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention on Dec. 9 in Indianapolis, where they will be recognized for their achievements. State winners also will be named at the convention.

Wabash Valley winners are Corbyn Bales and Amy Goodman, Linton-Stockton Junior High School in Greene County; Laura McGaughey of North Putnam Middle School in Putnam County; and Sangeeth Jeevan of Honey Creek Middle School and Paige Cook of Otter Creek Middle School, both of Vigo County.