Farm City Week kicks off in Manatee County with student speech contest

November 9, 2012 

Farm City Week starts with contest

MANATEE -- Alisha Erozer, a Lakewood Ranch High School student, won the the annual Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District speech contest Nov. 7 and qualified to compete in an area contest.

The event kicked off Farm City Week, Gail Somodi reports.

Erozer's first-place performance earned her $150. Placing second and awarded $100 was Braden Causey, a student at Bayshore High School. Home-schooled student Courtney Wingateplaced third and received $75.

Manatee County students in grades six through 12 competed in the contest. Other schools included Buffalo Creek and Hailemiddle schools, and Palmetto and Manatee high schools.

A drawing for a $50 gift card for educational supplies, to reward teachers for encouraging their students to enter the contest, was won by Bayshore High School teacher Lori Ladd.

Designed to develop leadership through participation in public speaking activities and to stimulate interest in conserving our natural resources, the topic this year was, "Where Does Your Water Shed?"

Students came up with imaginative ways to explain the importance of watersheds to the audience in 6- to 8-minute speeches.

Judges were Renée Isom, fiscal services manager for Manatee County Public Safety, and former member of Toastmasters; Jim Strickland, past president of the Florida Cattlemen's Association and agricultural appraiser with the Manatee County Property Appraiser's office; and John Zimmerman, retired Manatee County Water Utilities manager.

Nate's Fall Carnivalslated for Saturday

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Nate's Honor Animal Rescue, 4951 Lorraine Road, will hold Nate's Fall Carnival at the Ranch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10.

The carnival is a family event to educate the public on the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of homeless pets, said Dari Oglesby, executive director.

"Nate's Honor Animal Rescue provides rescued animals a second chance by changing the way our community views animal sheltering, one animal, one family and one generation at a time," Oglesby said.

Information: event chair Debbie Roginski at 941-356-3927 or

-- Herald staff report

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