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Resource Conservation Speech Contest: "Working Grasslands: Why Should We Care?"

The Resource Conservation Speech Contest is an annual event sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, specifically the Resource Conservation and Forestry Division. This contest encourages students in grades 9-12 across South Dakota to participate and share their insights on resource conservation.

The theme this year is "Working Grasslands: Why Should We Care?"

Eligibility and Levels

  • Eligibility: Any high school student in South Dakota, whether from public, private, or home-school backgrounds, is eligible to enter the contest.

  • Levels: The contest comprises of three levels:

    • Local Level: Students compete at the local level, presenting their resource conservation-oriented speeches. Two winners from each local contest advance to the area level. The local conservation district contest must be completed on or before March 9, 2024. Contact your local conservation district for contest times and location.

    • Area Level: Winners from the local contests move on to the area contests. There are seven natural resource areas in South Dakota. Two winners from each area contest proceed to the state competition. The area contest must be completed on or before March 23, 2024.

    • State Level: The state finals feature a maximum of fourteen speakers representing the seven natural resource areas. Three scholarship winners are chosen for first, second, and third places. The state finals will be held in Pierre on April 6, 2024, starting at 9:00 a.m..

Scholarships and Sponsors

  • Scholarships: The contest awards scholarships to the winners:

    • First Place: $1,200 Scholarship

    • Second Place: $800 Scholarship

    • Third Place: $500 Scholarship

  • Sponsorship: The East River and Rushmore Electric Power Cooperatives, along with the South Dakota Rural Electric Association, present these scholarships. Winners can use them at any college, university, or accredited vocational technical school within South Dakota. The South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts co-sponsors this contest.

How to Enter

  • Review the 2024 Contest Rules and Entry Form.

2024 Resource Conservation Speech Contest-Brochure & entry form
Download PDF • 162KB

View pictures and videos of the 2023 participants.


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