Most Viewed Stories
Two Maxwell pupils winners in agriculture writing contest
Two Maxwell Elementary students are close to becoming published authors.
Anthony Felix, 9, a third-grader, and Natalie Wilson, 11, a sixth-grader, were recently selected as regional winners of the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom "Imagine This ..." story-writing contest.
More than 8,000 stories from students in the third to eighth grades were submitted for the contest statewide.
Both Maxwell students were surprised to win, but perhaps Felix most of all.
While Wilson said she does enjoy writing, Felix kind of crumpled his nose and shook his head as if facing a plate full of broccoli, spinach and peas.
He wouldn't have entered the contest if it wasn't a class project.
Felix's story was about how to grow grapes.
The son of a farmer in Delevan, Felix figured a lot of students in the area might select rice as a topic, so he went a different direction.
"My mom has a friend who grows grapes," Felix explained. "And she has a winery."
And while a lot goes into growing grapes, Felix said the thing he remembers most about doing the research is that the vineyards can be 50 to 100 years old.
"The "Imagine This …" contest helps enhance students' research and writing skills while they learn about various agricultural topics and the important role agriculture plays in their lives," Judy Culbertson, the foundation's executive director said in a statement. "It gives students the opportunity to explore the world of agriculture without even visiting a farm."
That is not unusual for Maxwell students, many of whom are part of farming families, or have strong ties to the ag industry.
That includes Wilson, whose father, Randy, works at AgriSource. Her mother, Victoria, is the band and art teacher at Maxwell High School.
Like Felix, young Miss Wilson wanted to write about something a little different. Her story was titled "Trina the Tree."
"I picked that topic because when you think about agriculture you don't always think about trees," Wilson said.
In her research, she found out that paper is used for a variety of goods, and paper, of course, comes mostly from trees.
"There is a lot in the process that goes into it," Wilson said.
But don't look for Willson to become a papermaker.
"I want to be a nurse or a vet or a writer," she said.
For the time being, however, she enjoys being a student. She also likes to sing and is a member of the Stardust dance group. Her favorite artist is Taylor Swift.
Felix also enjoys singing, and his favorite artist is Carrie Underwood. He also plays soccer.
And while he wants to be a farmer when he grows up, the son of Craig and Anne Felix does not plan to wander too far off the family checks and grow grapes.
Like his father, he wants to be a rice farmer. His mother is a first-grade teacher at Maxwell Elementary.