A Lakewood Ranch High student won the annual Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District's speech contest Nov. 14 as part of Farm City Week.
Alisha Erozer was awarded $150 for her speech on this year's topic, "Dig Deeper -- What are the Mysteries in the Soil?" Her first-place finish also qualifies her to compete in an area contest to be held next March.
Finishing second and awarded $100 was Cheyenne Atkinson of Bayshore High School. Third was Samantha Baum, a student at Haile Middle School, who received $75.
Students in grades 6 through 12 performed six- to eight-minute speeches in the contest, designed to develop leadership through participation in public speaking activities and to stimulate interest in conserving our natural resources. Basia Kuehn, a Nolan Middle School student, wrote and recited poetry to communicate her point. Students from Palmetto High School also participated.
Judges were Carrie Ann Green, senior probation officer for the Manatee County Government Community Services Department and Toastmasters member; Juan Vega, USDA/NRCS resource soil scientist; and David Neely, USDA/NRCS agricultural engineer.
-- Herald staff report