Cover “Crop”

Posted: May 2, 2024

DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s fifth annual crop of cover designs comes to fruition.

Every year for more than 30 years, DeKalb County Farm Bureau has offered a design contest for elementary students.

Originally, students designed posters. Later on, t-shirts. Then placemats, and now magazine covers. Whatever the end product, the contest is intended to cultivate children’s comprehension of agriculture.

Cover design winner (far right) Liam Kesler’s fifth grade class gathers to celebrate at Hiawatha Elementary.

The contest serves as a culminating activity for the Ag in the Classroom (AITC) program, in which volunteers visit 1st-5th grade classrooms to teach about farming. The design theme for each grade level reflects the AITC lesson topic for that grade.

This year’s contest yielded over 700 entries from 48 classrooms in 11 schools. Entries were judged by members of the Ag Literacy Committee, who reviewed the designs by grade to choose first, second, and third place winners and three honorable mention recipients at each level.

The design deemed most suitable for the CONNECTIONS Magazine cover was then selected from the five first place entries to be the grand prize winner.

During an Awards Night on May 7, first through third place winners received gift cards, honorable mention recipients received special certificates, and the grand prize winner was announced.

This year’s grand prize design was created by Hiawatha Elementary student Liam Kesler, who illustrated the 5th grade contest theme, “I Can Work in Agriculture.” Liam’s teacher is Stefanie Mecklenburg. Mrs. Mecklenburg’s class also earned an ice cream party to celebrate Liam’s win.

Watch a video of the winning designs at