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01/25/2020 12:40 AM
Pennsylvania General Assembly

Talk To Your State Senator

Imagine waking up to a world without farms-no cows, no sheep, no potato plants, and no ears of corn growing in the fields. No problem, no farms means a lot of empty space for new houses, new restaurants and new fun things to do. Right? No farms also means empty grocery store shelves and no hamburgers, no French fries, no ice cream, and no restaurants! Many people may take it for granted, but farming is important; we can't survive in a world without farms. Regardless of whether we live in the city or in the country, we all like to eat.

Farming is an important part of our history. For generations, farmers have cultivated Pennsylvania's fertile land to grow crops and raise livestock on farms both large and small; an important part of feeding the 12+ million citizens of the state. But, our Commonwealth has a problem--for every four farmers in Pennsylvania over the age of 65, there is only one farmer under the age of 35.

Agriculture is Pennsylvania's #1 industry and that means it's the backbone of our economy. Pennsylvania's 59,000 farm families manage more than 7.7 million acres of farmland and generate more than $7.5 billion annually-that's billion with a "B"! Yet despite those billions, many farm families are struggling to make ends meet. We need to explore creative new ways to support farmers in communities throughout the commonwealth and encourage future farmers.

That's where you come in! Talk to us-share your ideas on how we can support agriculture in our state and ensure the land remains productive. We want you to share your thoughts and advise your legislator. Tell us how to save our farms for the generations to come so they don't have to imagine a world without them.

The contest is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6-12. The contest will be judged in two categories:
Middle school, grades 6 - 8
1st place - $2500
2nd Place $1500
3rd place $1000

High School, grades 9 - 12
1st place - $2500
2nd Place $1500
3rd place $1000

Deadline for entries is January 31, 2020.

See the Contest Registration link for additional details.

Preserving Pennsylvania's Legacy
The Talk to Your State Senator Statewide Video Contest


The contest is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6-12. The contest will be judged in two categories:

Middle school, grades 6 - 8
1st place - $2500, 2nd Place $1500 and 3rd place $1000

High School, grades 9 - 12
1st place - $2500, 2nd Place $1500 and 3rd place $1000

Contest Rules:

Our goal is to increase the attention on the importance of agriculture to our commonwealth. Therefore, your original VIDEO entry must address the issue of how to preserve our agricultural legacy.

  • Students may submit one video entry no longer than 3 minutes. You decide the time you need to get your point across.
  • You may work alone or in groups of no more than five students. If working in a group, students must identify one primary contact as the team leader, however all participating students must be identified by first and last name, on the official registration form.
  • Student entries must be submitted along with a release signed by their parents or legal guardian.
    Parental Consent Form.pdf
  • If you are working with an adult advisor through a class or club, the adult advisor name and contact information must be identified on the entry registration. If the student(s) are working independently of a class or club, a parent's name and contact information must be provided.
  • Entries must be submitted using the registration form available on line at www.legis.state.pa.us/talk-to-your-state-senator/.
    Deadline for entry is January 31, 2020.
  • All dialogue, video clips, production and editing must be original and may only contain copyrighted content if appropriately cited.
  • Entrants must credit all sources used to create the video documentary in the end credits of the video or in a separately submitted citation list.
  • All students must be enrolled in either a public, private or home school program within Pennsylvania.
  • All entries become the property of the Pennsylvania Senate. Entrants agree that submitting their video permits the Pennsylvania Senate to use, without any compensation, their names, likenesses and entries for promotional purposes. By submitting an entry, entrants represent that their entries constitute original works of creativity that do not violate the property rights of any other person or organization, and grant the Pennsylvania Senate the right to exhibit, distribute, televise and otherwise use the entries in various media.

Contest Awards:

Rutter's is providing $10,000 in prize money. Money will be awarded through the TAP 529 Account program in the PA Department of Treasury and will be deposited into an account in the winner(s) name.

Prizes will be awarded in each age category in the following manner:

  • One Semi-finalist will be recognized from each participating state senatorial district for each of the Middle School and High School categories. Home addresses will be utilized to determine a senatorial district. Semi-finalist videos may be posted on the senator's website for public access. Address lookup for senatorial districts is available at: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the fact that there are 50 state senate districts, the number of semi-finalists may reach 50 in each of the categories.
  • Winning videos may be posted on the Senate website and Facebook page.
  • Winning videos may be made available to local news outlets.
  • Finalists may be invited to the Senate chamber for recognition on the floor.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners will be selected from each of the two (middle and high school) semi-finalist categories.
  • If any or all of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place winning videos are submitted by a group, the students whose names appear on the official entry form shall receive an equal share of the total prize money for that category deposited into a TAP 529 Account in their name.

Judging Criteria:

  •   Creativity
  •   Content
  •   Effectiveness of message delivery
  •   Did you follow directions?

Entries will be judged by an independent panel of judges, and will not include any Pennsylvania Senators. Immediate relatives of Senators and their staff are ineligible to participate. Judges will be announced closer to the competition deadline.