Bryce Henning, a fifth grade student from Barron, is the statewide winner of the Ag in the Classroom essay contest. Wisconsin fourth and fifth graders were asked to write a 100 to 300 word essay with the theme, “Why are bees important to Wisconsin agriculture?”
Bryce is the son of Patrick and Amanda Henning and Stephanie Henning. Lindsey Bell is his fifth grade teacher at Riverview Middle School.
A total of 2,853 Wisconsin students wrote essays for the competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Frontier-Servco FS and We Energies.
The finalist from each of Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s nine districts across the state will receive a certificate, educational resources for their teacher and a classroom presentation about Wisconsin agriculture. This year’s finalists include:
Matthew Wanta, Rockfield Elementary School, Germantown, Washington County (District 1)
Hayden Wrolstad, Northside Intermediate School, Milton, Rock County (District 2)
Madilynn Mundt, Kickapoo Elementary School, Viola, Vernon County (District 3)
Emma Paris, LaGrange Elementary School, Tomah, Monroe County (District 4)
Alexis Ullenberg, St. Mary Springs Academy, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County (District 5)
Ruby Jesion, Christ Child Academy, Sheboygan, Sheboygan County (District 6)
Molly Haines, St. Anthony School, Oconto Falls, Oconto County (District 7)
Sam Nitzke, South Mountain Elementary School, Wausau, Marathon County (District 8)
Bryce Henning, Riverview Middle School, Barron, Barron County (District 9)
The Winning Essay:
Why are bees important to Wisconsin agriculture?
By Bryce Henning
Riverview Middle School
There are more 25,000 kinds of bees in the world but there is one kind that really stands out. It is called the honeybee and it is important to Wisconsin’s agriculture because of the honey it produces as well as the job it does pollinating plants.
The honeybee produces honey which supports Wisconsin’s agriculture and economy. In 2012, the state’s honey crop was valued at nearly 9 million dollars. Who would think those little bees could create something worth so much? They are also responsible for more than just creating honey because their beeswax is often used to create candles and other products.
To create honey and beeswax, the bee has to fly from flower to flower collecting pollen and this process is crucial to the flowers. The spreading of pollen, called pollination, is needed for plants to create the food we eat. If we had not honeybees there would be fewer beautiful flowers. Crops such as apples, cranberries, and cherries would also suffer. The cranberry industry alone employs 7,000 people in the state of Wisconsin. Without bees, many people would be without jobs. It is also estimated that nearly one-third of the food we eat is created by the work the bees do.
So the next time you see a little honey bee, think about how it impacts the agriculture in the state of Wisconsin. This amazing insect is important in creating jobs, honey, and pollinating many of our crops.
Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is produced. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation’s largest industry: agriculture. Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.