Tag Archives: Highschool Essay Contest

4th Annual Essay Contest For Utah High Schools on Family Farming

Back in 2011, Utah Valley University hosted the first ever Utah high school ‘Youth and the Mountains’ essay contest. This contest focused on academic research and introduced the importance of Sustainable Development. From its conception, the essay contest has been a great asset to the academic community and has helped to introduce young adults to their surroundings.

With topics ranging from women of the mountains to energy, essay contestants have dealt with and postulated solutions for important socio-economic factors being discussed and improved upon globally. The relevance of which should not be lost or ignored.

Utah Valley University’s essay contest provides a firm foundation for the next generation of leaders; to create new ideas and promote innovative thinking. This says nothing of the $300 cash prize for first place; a much appreciated bonus for one of these students.

This year’s contest, being held March 28th, will be drawing from an ever expanding pool of high schools and the competition will be fiercer than ever. The topic of this year’s contest is, ‘The Family Farm in Mountain Communities’. The topic draws from the important work that is being done globally to end world hunger and promote more sustainable farming practices. It is also the topic of discussion for this year’s 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Students draw from Utah’s rich cultural and religious history to provide a unique perspective on sustainable development. Previous submissions have proposed alternative means of development and have done much to inform others of dangerous materials, working conditions, and poorly constructed policy making at the government level.


Of true significance is not the cash prizes or the publication of those papers written but the positive influence and introduction of policy making which this essay contest promotes. Students are able to research effective and ineffective decisions made by government officials and provide insights from a different perspective. Additionally, students learn more about their history and culture, promoting activism to the future leaders and makers of change.

A great source for inspiration and a resource which should not be overlooked is Utah’s culture and history. Coming to this, at the time, desert state Utah’s settlers had to introduce new farming methods and agricultural techniques. This same level of intuitiveness and creativity has been applied to the previous essay contests. It will be no surprise to witness such ingenuity in the coming contest.

The schools being represented will not only be showcasing the quality of their students and the efficacy of their instructors, but the idea that there is still much that can be done to promote change and that it is never too early, or late, to start. Likewise, the students will not be simply writing words down on a piece of paper. These research papers are the end product of a desire to make the world, whether that be personal or global, a better place.

Joseph McCain, President of UIMF 

2014 Essay Contest

Call for Papers 

The Fourth Annual Utah High School Essay Contest
The Family Farm in Mountain Communities
March 28, 2014

2014 is the International Year of Family Farming. In conjunction with this celebration, the Utah International Mountain Forum will again host its annual High School essay contest. The goal of this essay contest is to educate and engage the public on the issues of family farming, mountain life, and the ways we can serve and lift up our fellow man. Given Utah’s history of endurance, innovation, and success in cultivating a high mountain desert, and the recent troubles with drought and water shortages, this topic is particularly relevant today.

For more information on how to participate, click here

2nd Annual Utah High School Essay Contest Report

On March 30, 2012, The Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF) held at the Orem Public Library, the Second Annual Utah High School Workshop and Essay Contest on the topic of the “Sustainable Energy for Mountain Communities”, in support of the United Nations initiative to declare 2012 as the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.” This event was co-sponsored by the Utah Valley University’s History & Political Science Department and the Aspen International Mountain Foundation (AIMF).

2nd Annual High School Essay Contest Workshop

The second annual Utah Students Workshop and Essay Contest will take place on Friday, March 30, 2012 from 2-6 PM in the Story Telling wing of the Orem Public Library


Event Agenda:

2:00pm – 2:10pm – Opening remarks by the Chair of the Organizing Committee,

Dr. Snedegar and Deputy Chair, Jesler Molina

2:10pm – 2:20pm – Greetings from Dr. Rusty Butler, Focal Point of the U.N.-related

Mountain Partnership (MP) at Utah Valley University

2:20pm – 2:30pm –  Remarks from John McClure, President of Utah International Mountain

Forum (UIMF) at UVU

2:30pm – 4:00pm – Presentation of the best 10 research papers by high school students

4:00pm – 4:10pm – Greetings by Skype from Rebecca Wallace, Aspen International

Mountain Foundation, member of the MP.

4:10pm – 4:50pm – Presentation of the best 10 research papers by high school students


4:50pm – 5:20pm – Announcement of the best 5 essays and the 3 winners by Dr. Snedegar,

and Jesler Molina. Awards and certificates of appreciation to the winners are presented by representative of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Focal Point of MP at UVU and President of UIMF.

5:20pm – 5:30pm – Presentation of certificates of appreciation to all participants and

organizers of the Workshop (same individuals are involved as in the previous ceremony)

5:30pm – 6:00pm – Reception

Organizing Committee


 Utah High-Schools Workshop on Sustainable Energy

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