The deadline is nearing to submit a video in the "Share How You Care" video contest from the Michigan Farm Bureau and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
YouTube entries that shine light on the many ways farmers care for the environment and the world around them are due Sept. 2. The best videos will earn contestants cash prizes of $500, $250 and $125 for first-, second- and third-place, respectively.
Contestants are simply asked to make a short 1-4 minute video that illustrates how farmers care about the environment, their animals, safe food and Michigan's future, and how farmers work with NRCS to attain these goals. A short promotional video describing the contest is available to view at http://www.farmers-care.com/care/videocontest.
"This is a great way to show people what Michigan farmers do to protect our natural resources. I hope that Michigan farmers will take this opportunity to deliver their message first-hand," says Brian MacMaster, acting state conservationist for the USDA NRCS.
"We're eager to see how farmers convey on screen their enthusiasm for agriculture and their dedication to Michigan and the state's natural resources," says MFB agricultural ecology specialist Emily Ries. "We also hope this contest will help us capture personal testimonials and real-life examples of how farmers are working successfully with NRCS so that we can further promote the value of NRCS resources to farmers in Michigan."
The Share How You Care contest is open to any Michigan resident but geared toward farmers. Budding videographers under the age of 18 can even participate so long as they have parental permission and an individual 18 years or older is featured in the video.
In selecting the winners, judges will consider how many times each video submission has been viewed on the contest's YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/sharehowyoucare, and how many favorable "likes" each video receives. Judges will also be looking for informative and accurate content that is presented in a creative manner.
There is no limit to how many videos a contestant can enter. However, contestants are only eligible to win one award.
Feel like sharing how you care?
To start the brainstorming process for video content and images, contest coordinator Kate Krepps of MFB's Agricultural Ecology Department suggests that contestants consider the following.
Protecting the environment: How do you manage manure to keep the water clean? How do you prevent soil erosion and run-off? Explain how you work to be a good steward of the environment.
Compassion for animals: How do you keep your animals comfortable and healthy? What daily tasks go into caring for your animals? Share the importance of caring for your livestock.
Committed to growing safe food: What procedures do you use that help ensure a safe food supply? How can you educate the public about the safety precautions that you take to deliver a safe product? Exhibit how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and other commodities with a commitment to the consumer.
Dedicated to Michigan's future: As a farmer, how are you connected to your community? How do you work to educate your neighbors about the good practices you use on your farm? Demonstrate how your commitment to Michigan agriculture strengthens Michigan's future.
Incorporating NRCS: What NRCS programs are you implementing on your farm to enhance, protect and maintain the environment? Highlight the relationship that you have with your local NRCS office.
Visit http://www.farmers-care.com/care/videocontest for complete contest rules and instructions on how to upload video submissions to the Share How You Care YouTube channel.
The Share How You Care video contest is made possible through a partnership between MFB and NRCS. MFB is the sponsor of the cash prizes.