(NewsUSA) - After a year of hard work and preparation, thousands of students participated in this year's agriculture competitions at the Illinois State Fair. These events test students' knowledge through livestock exhibitions, practical competitions and academic tests.
As part of these events, CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, presented Grand Champion livestock exhibitors and 4-H Livestock Skillathon winners with scholarships totaling nearly $60,000.
"These students are the next generation of food producers and agribusiness leaders," said CME Group Managing Director of Agricultural Products Tim Andriesen.
"Through our scholarships, CME Group is pleased to support the brightest talent in agriculture and promote future participation in an industry that's critical to feeding the world."
CME Group awarded $5,000 in scholarships to each of the 10 Grand Champion exhibitors at the Governor's Sale of Champions: Ella Bobell (Logan County), Olivia Caldwell (Peoria County), Bryce Clayton (Scott County), Katie Hummel (Kankakee County), Tara Hummel (Kankakee County), Adam Miller (Livingston County), Sammuel Pree (Iroquois County), Chase Tomhave (Morgan County), Morgan Wagner (Fulton County) and Grant Wilderman (Bond County).
As part of the Illinois 4-H Livestock Skillathon, nine champions won $1,000 each in scholarships to use towards higher education: Andy Bates (Ford County), Erin Curley (McDonough County), Fred Grohmann (Randolph County), Kate Henkel (Woodford County), Tara Hummel (Ford County), Cody Knodle (Montgomery County), Mary Perry (Adams County), Lizzie Schafer (Christian County) and Lane Schilling (Washington County).
These students compete in a written exam that includes how to use CME futures contracts to manage risk.
CME Group is committed to supporting the next generation of producers interested in agriculture careers. Over the last four years, CME Group has invested over $200,000 in scholarships to students at the Illinois State Fair.
Additionally, CME Group has partnered with the National 4-H Council for the sixth year to bring Commodity Carnival, an interactive experience, to 100 state and country fairs this summer.
The Commodity Carnival fair game advances ag literacy by breaking down topics like managing business risks and costs associated with producing and bringing livestock to market. To date, it has educated more than 325,000 youth around the United States.
The companion mobile app, "Risk Ranch," allows students to play the game year-round and is available online, in the App Store, and through Google Play.