A pair of local students were among the 13 winners of the Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation annual calendar art contest.

Elizabeth Finch of Heppner Elementary School and Andrew Kubishta of Helix Elementary School, who are both entering fifth grade, were recognized during an Aug. 26 reception at the Oregon State Fair in Salem. The artwork of the two local winners were among more than 2,000 entries submitted in the statewide contest.

With more than 200 agriculture-related commodities across the state, students had a wide variety of subjects to choose from. In addition to having their artwork included in the calender, the winners also received a $50 award and a certificate. The artwork is on display through Monday at the fairgrounds in Salem.

Although unable to attend the reception, Kubishta was honored for his entry depicting luscious blueberries. Using crayon, pencil and colored pencils, his artwork also features bold and colorful lettering with the words “Oregon Grown.”

Drawing on her creativity and familiar sites in Morrow County, Finch’s submission features a horse herding cattle.

“I chose the scene because it is one of the commodities of Heppner,” she said. “A lot of people have cattle.”

Sue Gibbs, Finch’s teacher, also attended the reception. This was the first year she worked with students to enter the contest. The activity, Gibbs said, complimented “Get Oregonized,” AITC curriculum materials purchased by The Oregon Potato Commission for her classroom.

“I enjoy using hands-on materials and the flexibility it gives me to teach the standards,” she said. “The students love the activities and learn so much about agriculture in our state.”

The timing of the calendar contest, Gibbs said, was perfect because students were able to use what they learned over the course of the year to create an entry.

Jessica Jansen, AITC executive director, agreed that the calendar contest is a great project for both teachers and students.

“It gives them an opportunity to teach and discuss about the bounty and beauty of Oregon agriculture and incorporate art in their classrooms,” she said.

Sponsored annually by the foundation, the calendar contest celebrates Oregon’s agricultural and natural resource goods. In addition to student artwork, the calendar includes facts about Oregon agriculture. Copies of the 2018-19 school-year calendar are free for teachers. The public can purchase one for $4 at www.oregonaitc.org/shop.

A nonprofit organization, AITC is dedicated to increasing knowledge of Oregon’s agriculture, environmental and natural resources. It provides free educational resources to Oregon educators to support the integration of agricultural themes into academic subjects. For more information, visit www.oregonaitc.org.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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