Missouri Ruralist Essay Contest Scholarships


The late Robert J. Stuckey was a member of the 1963 junior class of Farmington High School. Robert had planned to attend college. He was vitally interested in current events and enjoyed reading. He had a natural facility for architectural drawing and was also interested in music. Like most young men, Rober was interested in sports, particularly wrestling. This annual contest is presented in memory of Robert.

Contest Rules:

The contest is open to Missouri High School students (in the 9th through the 12th grades), and only one entry will be accepted from each school. Home-schooled students living in Missouri are also eligible to apply. Each school is to choose the essay to be submitted. Essays should not have been submitted to any previous contest or have been previously published. Common topics for essays are literary analyses, accounts of personal experiences and fictional short stories. Essays which review a single book are not acceptable.

Criteria for Judging:

Contest judges will be comprised of members of the Friends of the Libraries.

Entries will be judged on the basis of:

  • Originality of thought
  • Content
  • Skill in organizing and presenting ideas and in marshaling evidence
  • Grammar, spelling and composition


How to Apply:

Each essay should have a title and be between 1,200 and 1,500 words in length. Essays should be typed,
double-spaced on one side of paper. Initials of the student should be in the upper right hand corner of
each page. A 3” x 5” card with student’s name, gender, address, telephone number, name of school,
school address and teacher’s full name should be clipped to the upper left corner of the manuscript.
Essays become the property of the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries upon receipt.


All entries must be received by email or postmarked by January 31, 2018.
Entries should be sent to:

  • Sheila Voss
  • 104 Ellis Library
  • University of Missouri
  • Columbia, MO 65201-5149
  • vosss@missouri.edu


  • First-place prize is $1,500
  • Second-place prize is $750
  • Teachers of the first and second-place winners also receive monetary prizes of $250 each

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about this contest, please contact
Sheila Voss at vosss@missouri.edu or at 573-882-9168.

Archive of Previous Winning Stuckey Essays

Agriculture touches many different aspects of our everyday lives. Still, many individuals do not understand the industry. This year the Larry Harper Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Missouri Ruralist, asks Missouri FFA members to consider how best to bridge that disconnect.

The 600-word essay, entitled "Agriculture: Bridging the Gap," may cover any aspect of the agriculture industry, such as explaining science to savvy shoppers, economic impact to environmental regulators, or limiting laws to legislative liaisons. FFA members can offer their views on any areas in which they feel the agriculture industry needs to do a better job disseminating its message.

The essay should provide an FFA member's own reasoning, along with ideas as to how Missouri farmers, agribusiness and FFA members can be involved in bridging the communication gap.

The essay contest is named after the late Larry Harper, who was a strong FFA supporter. He often challenged young people to discuss important ag issues of the day. Harper served as editor of Missouri Ruralist from 1976 to 1999.

Here are few requirements of this year's Larry Harper Young Writers Contest:

•The essay should be the student's original work.
•The essay should have more than one source of information. Personal interviews with experts are encouraged.
•The essay should be a Word document, 12-point Times New Roman, typed and double-spaced.
•The essay should have a cover page that includes the entrant's name, title, school name and date.
•The essay should have a maximum of 600 words.

The top three winners will appear on stage at the Missouri FFA Convention in April. The winning essay will be read by the entrant during the convention. Winners will receive $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $75 for third.

First-place winners from previous years are not eligible for the essay contest.

Email entries to [email protected], or send a hard copy to Missouri Ruralist, 21680 Smith Creek Road, Marthasville, MO 63357.

All entries must be postmarked by March 18.

TAGS: Farm Life

0 thoughts on “Missouri Ruralist Essay Contest Scholarships

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *