KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 15, 2017) - Ryan McKerrall of Chatham has been named the Ontario provincial winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay contest for 4-H members. The theme of this year's contest was "What value do co-operatives provide to today's farmers?"

In his contest entry, McKerrall said: "The members of a co-op share a mutual interest and have a common need. A co-op incorporates the best interest of its members and utilizes the democratic process to do so. Co-ops achieve their mission to support the needs of their members and everyone shares in the profits."

Ryan McKerrall is a student at Chatham-Kent Secondary School and a member of the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association.

As the contest winner, McKerrall receives a $500 award from GROWMARK and the Chatham-Kent 4-H Association also receives a $300 award in honour of his accomplishment to help future students.

Two provincial runners-up each receive a $125 award. The runners-up are: Laura Scott - Middlesex 4-H Association, student at Medway High School in Arva and Mikayla Ringelberg, Hamilton Wentworth 4-H Association, student at Hamilton District Christian High School in Ancaster.

This is the sixth year for the Essay Program in Ontario in partnership with 4-H Ontario, but the 24th year for the program in the United States, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member co-operatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The essay contest was designed to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of co-operatives.

GROWMARK is a regional agriculture co-operative that provides agronomy, energy, and grain marketing and risk management services in the province of Ontario and 42 states in the United States. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member co-operatives. More information is available at

Photo of Ryan McKerrall and his essay are both available upon request.

Contact Information:

Janice Johnson