Mountain Farm Families

Essay Contest 2014

The Fourth Annual Utah High School Essay Contest

The Family Farm in Mountain Communities

March 28, 2014

A Call for Papers

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.

Unlike past competitions, we are accepting any type of written work that reflects adequate research and understanding of the topic and that meets the rubric. Students may submit formal research and expository essays, but we will also accept short stories, persuasive essays, and other forms of written work. We encourage personal innovation and creativity in the selection and execution of these essays.

Topics for submission may include, but are not limited to:

  • Arid farming practices
  • Exportable technology or innovations
  • Difficulties facing arid land or high mountain farms
  • Family management of farms in the 21st century
  • Family vs. Industrial farming
  • Soil and water solutions
  • Economic challenges and solutions in the era of globalization
  • Indigenous or cultural farming practices

Submission Guidelines:

  • Full name, School name, District name, viable email address
  • Works must be between 1000 and 1500 words in length
  •  Submitted electronically
  • Accessible through Microsoft Word
  • No fewer than five non-internet sources (as always, Wikipedia is not acceptable as a reference)
  • Works cited page
  • Works that do not follow the classical research format must include an annotated bibliography reflecting the research used in the work in place of a works cited page.

A panel of judges representing UVU and the UIMF will read the submissions and select ten finalists to present their work at the (event name) final on March 28, 2014, at the Orem Public Library. The best works will receive financial awards in addition to certificates acknowledging their contribution, and a chance to publish their work in the journal “Youth and the Mountains.”

All participants (schools and students) will be awarded certificates of participation on behalf of the Mountain Partnership in Rome, Italy.

Completed essays must be submitted by 12:00 AM on March 1, 2014. Please submit them to;

For more information, please contact us by phone or email:
– Dr. Keith Snedegar, Professor, History and Political Science, Utah Valley University, Co-Chair Phone: (801) 863-8847, email:
– Joseph McCain, Utah International Mountain Forum, Phone: 801-636-3348, email:;


A Coalition of UVU Clubs