2022 Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing Contest Announced

This year’s theme: soil conservation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2022)
 – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in cooperation with the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, announce the 2022 Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contest.

This annual contest helps students from across the commonwealth learn about natural resources and their importance.  This year, students will learn about Kentucky’s soil; what it is made of, why it is important and how it can be conserved. 

Sponsors have provided articles, suggested activities, and fun facts and trivia to help students understand the importance of soil. A tabloid, entitled “Take A Hike, Navigating the Trail,” can be used by teachers in the classroom, as well as by students at home. 

The art contest, for grades one through five, and writing contest, for grades six through 12, allow students to use the knowledge they have gained about the topic and transform it into creative artwork and written essays. Entries should focus on encouraging action toward good soil conservation practices.

Paulette Akers, director of the Kentucky Division of Conservation said, “Although soil is literally underfoot all the time, we often take it for granted. I am so glad that the Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contest reminds us of the amazing things about soil and what we can do to help maintain productive soils and prevent soil erosion.”

The conservation writing and art contests began in 1944 and 1974, respectively. James B. Claypool was the first assistant director of the Division of Conservation and was hired in 1947. He became director in 1960. A Warren County native, Claypool was a graduate of Western Kentucky University and taught vocational-agriculture at Bradfordsville and Greensburg High Schools. As director of the division, he was instrumental in the expansion of conservation education in Kentucky. He died in 1974.

Schools and home school students should choose their winning entries and submit those to the local conservation district by Dec. 1. The county will then narrow the entries and send finalists to the cabinet for state judging.

Students can earn monetary prizes at the school, county, regional and state levels. County winners will receive $25 from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation. Area winners receive $50. State first, second and third place winners receive $250, $150 and $50 respectively. Many local conservation districts and other sponsors also provide prizes. 

For more information about the contest, please visit your local conservation district office or http://bit.ly/ClaypoolArtWritingContest.