Four talented college students have captured $20,000 in prize money in the Future of Southern Ag student essay contest, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and Farm Press Publications.

The two top winners are Andrew Landis, Auburn University, who won the graduate category and Matthew Turner, Louisiana State University, who took top honors in the undergraduate category. Both won $6,000.

Runners up are Jarrod Hardke, graduate category, Louisiana State University, and Sara Kovachich, undergraduate category, University of Florida. Sara and Jarrod will take home $4,000 each.

Students were asked to describe how the Southern farmer and the agricultural industry can effectively manage water usage amid increasing pressure to produce more food, feed and fiber and diminishing supply in some areas.

To view the winning essays, go to and click “View the Complete List of 2010 Winners.”

For in-depth looks at the winners, go to:

Matthew Turner

Andrew Landis

Jarrod Hardke

Sara Kovachich