|Nebraska Junior Duck Stamp Contest judged in Gering|
|March 31, 2011 Jerry Purvis|
Five judges were busy last Thursday morning at the Gering Civic Center examining original student artwork to find the Best of Show in the Nebraska Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
Lydia Patrick of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was the coordinator for the event. She said more than 900 pieces of waterfowl artwork are submitted each year by Nebraska students in grades K-12.
“Conservation through the arts is the theme of the contest,” Patrick said. “We have people go into the schools to talk about habitat and conservation, then tie that into the junior duck stamp contest.”
She added that submissions are place in four different age groups, with 25 places in each group, 16 honorable mentions and three winners in third, second and first place. The 12 first place entries are judged again to determine the Best of Show. The Best of Show then goes to the national contest, scheduled this year for April in Philadelphia. The Nebraska winner will also be used on next year’s state waterfowl stamp.
“We get a lot of entries from students in the Panhandle,” Patrick said. “We work with Educational Service Unit 13 and local artists to give students the opportunity to learn more about conservation and the stamp program.”
This year’s Best of Show winner was also the winner in 2010. Emily Tolliver, a 17-year-old high school junior from McCook, won this year for her painting of a red-breasted merganser. She has been entering the contest since elementary school.