(NewsUSA) - Illinois students prepare all year to participate in State Fair agriculture competitions -- whether they are showing an animal or competing in academic tests.
Those same students were also competing for scholarships offered by CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. This year, CME Group granted scholarships totaling $60,000 to 4-H Livestock Skillathon winners and Grand Champion livestock exhibitors.
"The next generation of agriculture is here at the fair, and they will play a critical role shaping the future of the industry and our economy," says Terry Duffy, Chairman and CEO of CME Group. "Each of the scholarships we offer helps these impressive students further their education, so they can keep growing and participating in the industry in new ways."
At this year's Illinois 4-H Livestock Skillathon, young ag enthusiasts demonstrated their knowledge of the identification and management of livestock. CME Group's sponsorship of the event granted each of the nine champions a $1,000 scholarship to apply to higher education.
Later, at the Governor's Sale of Champions, CME Group presented $5,000 scholarships to each of the Grand Champion student exhibitors to use to furthering their education. Over the past three years, CME Group has granted more than $150,000 in scholarships to the next generation of food producers in Illinois.
All fairgoers also had the opportunity to get involved in the fun at the Commodity Carnival. For the past five years, CME Group has partnered with the National 4-H Council, the country's largest youth development organization, to bring the popular, award-winning experience to state and county fairs.
The interactive game guides fairgoers through the challenges of raising an animal, helping them understand agriculture as a business, as well as, recognize the risks our nation's farmers and ranchers face in bringing our food to market.
Additionally, more than 9,000 students in more than 115 countries have downloaded the "Risk Ranch" mobile app, so students can play the game all year long and hone their skills for next year's fair.
Recipients of the CME Group Skillathon scholarships were: Wyatt Claire, Makenna Green, Kacie Haag, Blake Hennenfent, Evan Link, Ethan Macklin, Jordynn Marcum, Tanner Mickey and Mclayn Musick.
Grand Champion exhibitors and CME Group scholarship recipients were: Bryce Bedeker, Cooper Bertolino, Olivia Caldwell, Kashen Ellerbrock, Dax Gentes, Caroline Gill, Kadie Hummel, Tara Hummel, Adam Miller, and and Halie Runner.