Freshman’s drawing wins National Ag Day poster competition

By University Communications
March 17, 2016
Emily Eibs, a freshman at UW-Stout in graphic design and interactive media, displays the drawing that earned her first place in the National Ag Day poster contest.

Photo: Emily Eibs, a freshman at UW-Stout, displays the drawing
that earned her first place in the National Ag Day poster contest.

The value of agriculture in the U.S. is not lost on Emily Eibs. She grew up in the farm-rich region of south-central Minnesota, has two horses that she trains for competitions and has been in 4-H much of her life.

She also happens to be artistic, one of the reasons she enrolled last fall at University of Wisconsin-Stout to study graphic design and interactive media.

Her recent past and future have come together in a piece of artistic inspiration. A drawing by Eibs has won the National Ag Day poster contest sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America.

The National Ag Day posterEibs, a freshman, will receive a $1,000 scholarship and her work will be featured during National Ag Day when it’s celebrated Tuesday, March 15, in Washington, D.C. Prints of her work will be available for purchase, and the drawing will be featured in Successful Farming magazine.

Eibs’ drawing features a pair of hands above a farm field holding the bounty of the land — grains, fruits and vegetables — in a sphere that represents the Earth. The contest’s theme was Stewards of a Healthy Planet.

“The contest theme led me to do the hands. They’re worn down and calloused. They remind me of my grandfather’s hands,” said Eibs, whose signature appears on the lower righthand corner of the poster.

Eibs grew up on a hobby farm near Le Sueur, Minn., southwest of the Twin Cities. The farm is surrounded by a larger farm owned by her grandfather, who grows mainly corn and soybeans.

She created the drawing by hand using colored pencils and colored charcoal, working on it for about two weeks in her spare time. Entries, due last fall, had to be accompanied by a short essay that explained the artist’s concept of the theme.

“I was pretty comfortable with the subject matter,” Eibs said.

Eibs’ skills have impressed UW-Stout art instructor Daniel Atyim, who taught her last fall in a drawing course.

“From the first drawing, I noticed she had a love for detail, especially elements that included delicate line work. The quality of her work is excellent. It exhibits a high degree of craft buttressed with a great deal of care. I’m not only impressed by her work, but her work ethic. She is inquisitive and consistently strives to elevate the quality of her work,” Atyim said.

Emily EibsEibs entered the contest when a friend, also a 4-H member, from her hometown pointed it out to her. “I wasn’t getting my hopes up. I was very excited to win, and the $1,000 scholarship was very exciting too,” said Eibs.

She enjoys drawing landscapes and people, she said, and is inspired when she has the opportunity to make a social statement with her artwork. Two years ago she also won an award for a poster contest sponsored by the Freshwater Society.

“I realize my artwork can say something and I can spread a message. That’s why I’m excited about the graphic design program,” she said.

The National Ag Day contest is open to high school and college students. The 2014 and 2015 poster winners were from the Kansas City Art Institute.

National Ag Day is part of National Ag Week, which is March 13-19.



Second Photo: The National Ag Day poster.

Third Photo: Emily Eibs