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My Impressions from the Essay Contest On Friday, March 28, I had the privilege of being able to attend the UMIF Essay Contest at the Orem City Library. The theme of the contest was farming in the mountains. I myself have grown up farming, and was intrigued to hear the proposals the contestants would present. I was not able to attend the entire event, but the proposals I heard were very interesting. Some of the ideas presented to help the farming community in the Rocky Mountains area, specifically in Utah, I could not quite agree with. For instance, one of the proposals given was to introduce terracing into the community, and make it the main form of food farming. One of the problems that I see with this proposal is the farmers would have to move. Some of the farmers in the local community have been at their current location for at least five or six generations in their family. They would not want to move from or get sell the property that has been in their family for so long. They would also not be able to afford to get new property, seed, and the proper tools for terracing that it would fail in the end. On the other hand, it would cost less to maintain the property once the families settled in to their new area. But the difference in cost is still overwhelming and almost not worth it. I have been to different parts of the world where they do terracing as their main form of farming. It works wonderfully for them, due to the fact they have been doing terracing for thousands of years, and have it down to a fine art. It would take a very long time for our community to get to a point of getting to a perfected state. One thing that I was extremely impressed with is the knowledge and the study that each contestant had. I could tell that each essay and presentation was well thought out. Each contestant I saw was able to accurately and quickly answer each question that was asked during the question and answer period. Another thing that I was impressed with was their etiquette, eloquence, and correct form of speaking publicly. It was obvious that each contestant wanted to be professional and taken seriously. Another thing I was impressed with was each contestant had been around some form of farming during their lives. Not many people today are very familiar with farming or gardening, but these youth had experience and were able to portray their experience with their essays.

There was one thing I noticed that each contestant mentioned was a big part of farming and a big lesson learned from farming of every kind. That is hard work. Each said that the main result and main requirement for farming was hard work and how it influenced every part of life. They said that learning to wake up and feed and the hogs or milk the cows teaches to be on time for things and to be reliable and accountable for things in every aspect of life. I definitely agree with this philosophy. Learning to work hard and teaching your children to work hard can be a very difficult thing to do. But one of the easiest ways to teach someone hard work is to give them a plant and tell them to keep it alive. Or have them go out and week the flower beds. Or mow the lawn. Each and every little form of gardening or farming can teach certain lessons that can be very hard to learn in other places. I really enjoyed this competition and can see the beneficial results that it will give each person who contributes both now and in the future. I teaches the youth that participate how to study, research, and properly write about a topic and then defend that it. Many of the professions that are in the world today require people to research ideas and statistics and what not, and then defend and explain the history and possibilities behind their research. This competition also helps each contestant learn the possibility of defeat and how to accept it graciously. I hope to see this competition continue throughout the years to help bring new ideas of how to better all kinds of communities. It will help teach everyone involved about new ideas, techniques, and what each contestant this year learned both about their topic and participating in the competition. Hard work. It will teach each contestant how to research topics and present those arguments in a public setting, while also preparing them for college and ultimately life. Kristee Hone, UVU student majoring in political science

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