McDonald's What We're Made Of Contest 2012 Winners
Congratulations to 16 students in Oregon and SW Washington who have
won a FREE field trip for their classroom to a special educational and fun activity day at Oregon Ag Fest.
Winning students wrote essays about products grown and raised locally and entered
the essays in the McDonald's What We're Made Of essay contest. Below is a list of 2012 winners and their
essays, sorted alphabetically by school name.
- Oregon Strawberries
by Zachary Beck, Cascade School
by Madelyn Robinson, Colton
- Grown In Oregon
by K C Long,
Hamilton Creek School
by Mia Mueller, Hazel Green Elementary
- Crawford's Columbia Country Ice Cream
by Sydney Crawford, Hudson Park Elementary
- Oregon Blueberries
by Kyle Willett, John Tuck Elementary
by Olivia Kaiser, KNOVA Learning Charter
- Christmas Trees
Ford, Memorial Elementary
- Oregon Agriculture!!!
by Trent Dietzel, Memorial Elementary
- What Are We Made Of
by Nyleen Krieske, MITCH Charter School
by Hannah Leichty, Myers Elementary
- Oh, Christmas Tree
by Lauren Fespersen, Myers Elementary
Kostromitin, Myers Elementary
- Oregon Agriculture!
Isabela Hockett, St. Paul Parochial School
- What Grows in Central Oregon
by BJ Hernandez, Vern Patrick School
by Colette Heesacker, Visitation Catholic School
By: Zachary Beck, Cascade School
I love Oregon strawberries because they are so sweet! They are the
sweetest in the world. They are the sweetest because of Oregon's weather
is the perfect climate for growing strawberries. Here are some
interesting facts that I found about strawberries while researching the
internet with mom and dad. Did you know that a strawberry has an average
of 200 seeds? Wow that's a lot! Strawberries are the only fruit with
seeds on the outside! Ninety four percent of people in America consume
strawberries at least once a year. Strawberries are the first fruit to
ripen in the spring.
Farmers in Oregon plant the strawberries in
late winter when the weather is mild cool and rainy. Oregon farmers work
very hard to grow the strawberries. The farmers have to work very hard
to fight off pests, disease, and other threats to the strawberry plants.
As the spring turns into summer Oregon has cool nights and warm sunny
days which are perfect for growing the sweetest strawberries. Oregon's
weather causes the strawberry to stay on the vine for a long time. When
the strawberry grows slowly the plant fills it full of sugars. This is
what makes Oregon strawberries taste so sweet. When the strawberry is
ripe it's a deep red color, bright green leaves, bright yellow seeds,
and very yummy! I like it when mom and dad take for a drive in the
country during strawberry season because you will see acres of red and
green strawberry plants.
The strawberries are sold at local markets
for people to buy. I love it when mom and dad take me to buy fresh
strawberries at the Saturday market so I can eat them. Most of the
strawberries are sold to companies. These companies make them into jams,
jellies, syrups, ice creams, drinks, and baked goods. These yummy
goodies from Oregon are sold all over the world. Strawberries are
harvested in June just in time for Lebanon's annual Strawberry Festival
where I live. The strawberry festival has the largest strawberry
shortcake in the world! A semi truck hauls the strawberry shortcake
through the Strawberry parade. I like watching the parade and then going
down to the festival site to eat a piece the world's largest strawberry
shortcake. Oh it's just so yummy every year!
By: Madelyn Robinson, Colton Elementary
I'm writing to tell you about Oregon's plum production. Oregon
produces over 2,900 plums per year. Only 11 counties produce large
amounts of plums. The Willamette Valley is the highest region of
Plums have nutrition for people who eat them. I love to eat plums
when they come into season because they are sweet, juicy, and really
good for you when you're not allergic to them.
I hope to see plums at the Ag Fest because the Ag Fest should focus
on increasing production. Oregon is the fourth highest producer of plums
in the nation. Thank you for letting me share some information about
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By: K C Long, Hamilton Creek School
There are many foods grown in Oregon. The most common food is beef.
The least common is apple, pears and watermelon. Oregon is the biggest
seed grower in the world.
The Willamette Valley has a lot of food. They have a lot of food.
They have no beef at all. They have a couple of chicken farms.
The Cascades has a lot of lumber and food. The most common food is
wheat. There are some forest trees they grow. The biggest fiber is hay.
The coast is the only place in Oregon that gets seafood. They get
crab, lobster, shrimp, halibut, and tuna. Most of their restaurants are
seafood. We have a famous aquarium that held the famous whale Keiko in
Eastern Oregon has the most beef farms in Oregon. They have the least
grass seed though. They have the only watermelon farms in Oregon. It is
hot there, so most plants can grow there. Then, on-the-other hand it
might be too hot for some.
Peoples most favorite is beef, ice-cream, apples and cherries for
pie. They use grapes for juice and wine. If you want any of that food,
go to Oregon.
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By: Mia Mueller, Hazel Green Elementary
Did you know that there is more to blueberry farming than you think?
Farmers go through many processes such as: preparing, growing and
harvesting. Each process requires lots of work.
This is how you get prepared to plant blueberries. First, lay out a
drip tube for watering the bushes. Next, you go to the Blueberry Plant
to get plants. Now you are ready to plant.
Growing blueberries is very tedious and it's a year around job. In
fall you have already planted the bushes. Now it's winter and time to
prune. To prune, you cut off the dead and small branches from the
bottom. Spring is spraying time and weed pulling. Weed pulling is
manual, but when you spray you use the tractor. It is summer. Time to
To harvest blueberries, you need crates to put the berries in and a
trailer to take them in. You pick blueberries off the bushes with your
thumbs and they fall into your crate. Another way to pick blueberries is
with a machine, they cost about $120.
So you see it's a lot more work that you probably imagined. Now you
know how to prepare, grow and harvest blueberries. Good Luck!
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By: Sydney Crawford, Hudson Park Elementary
Have you ever enjoyed a Crawford's Columbia Country ice cream cone?
Well, the Shoesan strawberries may have came from Crawford's Columbia
Country Berries ‘n Cream. The taste of the CCC vanilla soft serve cone
with the shocking Shoesan strawberries could become a R.M. sunbursted
sundae also. Anyway, it is delectable.
The berries came from my Crawford's Berries ‘n Cream farm. Russ and
Jennifer, my parents, have been growing berries since 1991. We have ten
acres and the strawberries are known for their great taste, how
wonderful they freeze, make jam and give your recipes extra flavor.
Also, the Shoesan strawberries grow in early June and are just the right
size for a cone or a sundae.
That's why we thought of the CCC soft serve ice cream cone. You
should try some of our delectable Crawford's Columbia Country vanilla
soft serve ice cream cone. I'd love if Ronald McDonald would try some.
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By: Kyle Willett, John Tuck Elementary
I have chosen to do my paper on Oregon Blueberries. I have put
together a lot of facts on blueberries. I really hope you enjoy the
Blueberries are native to Oregon and all of North America.
You can eat blueberries frozen or room temperature. Blueberries are
grown on a shrub so they can be pruned during the winter. A blueberry
bush can live for many years and does not need to be tied up or
Here are some ways blueberries improve health. They help vision,
clear arteries, strengthen blood vessels, stop urinary infections, and
promote weight control. Moving on, in 2010 there were 54.1 million
pounds of Oregon blueberries harvested. There are over 25 ways you can
eat blueberries for snacks, meals or beverages. Blueberries start out
bright and green and ripen to blue.
Also Oregon blueberries were valued at 53 million dollars in 2006.
And speaking of profits, Japan is Oregon's biggest customer for
blueberries. The blueberry is related to the cranberry and the azaleas.
I really hoped you enjoyed reading my paper on Oregon blueberries it
was a lot of fun writing it.
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By: Olivia Kaiser, KNOVA Learning Charter
Goodrich & Mrs. Mitchell Class
One day at Mr.
Rancher's Seed Store, I was in a small bag with my family and friends.
We could hear a nice woman say, “I'm interested in buying wheat. Do you
have any?” Mr. Rancher showed her the way to the isle.
said, “Here you go. If you want it, I'll bring it to the check stand for
“Yes! It seems to be great seeds.” She walked with Mr. Rancher to the
check stand. We could hear lots of ringing from all the stuff she
“Woah! What's going on?” I said. No one answered. “I'm
scared!” I yelled. Still, no answer. She carried us in a green plastic
bag. We came to a very beautiful house with an orchard and farm by it.
It was really pretty. I was on a white table top until her husband came
and took us to the farm. We were afraid. I heard her husband say he was
going to pick a special seed. I was the smallest seed! Maybe, it was me!
My friend's scoffed at me and were really contempt. That day, he reached
in and pulled out a seed. I felt something hard. I couldn't move, in
that transparent column. All of a sudden, I was dropped into the ground
covered by soil, and watered. It was kind of fun. So here we are, my
adventures: You know the first part, but not the rest. After I grew into
wheat, I was put in a box and sent to a factory. It was REALLY fun! All
the machines tickled when they put me into small grains. I went through
a big process. I turned into bread, but I got scattered into other
loafs. Then, I was in a box and sent to a grocery store. A mother bought
me, and I was put in her son's lunch. Those were my adventures!
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By: Kate Ford, Memorial Elementary
Out of all of the Christmas tree Farms in the U.S., 38% of them are
located in the Willamette Valley. Christmas trees grow in the Willamette
Valley and are unique for many reasons. These reasons are workers fly
the trees to the field in a helicopter, they are flagged by height, and
they are grown to 20 feet tall. Did you know the White House had trees
from Oregon in 1991 and 1992?
My first reason why Christmas trees are unique is because workers fly
the trees to the field in a helicopter. For example, to carry a tree by
hand workers could only take one at a time. When workers use a
helicopter they could take many trees at a time. There is only one
worker in the helicopter which would be hard, but not if you're a
My second reason is Christmas trees are flagged by height. For
example, if you and your family came to pick out a tree at a tree farm
and they weren't flagged then you couldn't know what the height of the
tree is. This is unique because trees aren't usually flagged by height.
Christmas trees are not just flagged by height, but they are flagged by
price too! The flags will be different colors so you can tell the
height, price, and kind of tree.
My third reason is they are grown to 20 ft tall, but usually sold 7-8
feet. If you think 7-8 feet is tall for a tree then imagine having a 20
foot tall tree in your house. The White House tree was 9 feet tall in
Christmas trees grown in the Willamette Valley are unique for many
reasons: workers fly trees to the field in a helicopter, they are
flagged by height, and grow over 20 feet tall. That's why Christmas
trees are so unique in the Willamette Valley.
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By: Trent Dietzel, Memorial Elementary
There are important things in Oregon agriculture. Some things that
really helped me learn about agriculture is the book Get Oregonized, and
some fact and figure pages. Berries, timber and pears are some of the
most important things in our agriculture.
Timber helps us live in many ways. Think
about it, without timber we wouldn't have pencils, paper, books and
things that do with wood. Timber does take lots of work to get to paper,
pencils, books and things like that. They don't just grow on trees or in
years; you have to go through a cycle for logging. It starts with
forests, then goes to roads that are built into forests so people can
get to the trees. After that the tree is felled, then goes into the
logging operation. (I watch lots of logging movies and know a lot about
logging operations). After that, the log trucks haul them to the mill.
From there it goes to the lumber market. The last step is reforestation.
When you reforest you site prep, then seed or plant, and the last step
is thin. This goes over and over and then with the wood, people make
pencils and paper. One thing I thought was interesting was that Oregon
produces 38% of Christmas trees. My Grandma and Grandpa have about 125
trees that grow right behind the house. I love trees and do stuff to
help them live. Again, trees are very important for our economy.
Oregon is one of the best places for
growing berries! Blackberries, loganberries, and raspberries are only
grown in Oregon. Berries are one of the biggest producers in Oregon. The
U.S. produces most of them. My old yard was full of raspberries. My
family loves berries! Did you know berries used to be used for medicine?
They did! They were used by Indians. The bad thing is that berries grow
really fast, and need to be harvested in a short period of time. When I
go up to my grandma and grandpa's we pick buckets of blackberries and my
grandma makes blackberry pie (it tastes really good). Remember, Oregon
is one of the best places for growing berries.
Pears need a lot of rain! They need around
40 inches of rain each year. Hood River and Mt. Hood farmers grow the
most pears. Did you know 17,000 acres of pears are grown in Oregon?
Well, there are. There's a bunch of pears and in my opinion, pears are
really good. They help our economy a lot. My grandma grows pears. She
has one or two pear trees. So every year I got lots of pears, and get to
help grow them. About 33% of the total pears are exported each season.
Making sales is a big part of professional farming. Marketing is a big
part of our economy. Remember pears can help our economy, but we have to
take good care and help them grow good and strong.
Again agriculture is important. Timber, berries, and pears are some
of the most important things in Oregon. For more information, go to
chapter 6 to the end of the book in Get Oregonized. I've learned a lot
about agriculture and I hope you did to. These aren't all the things
that have to do with agriculture. In all we raised 4.4 billion dollars
in Oregon agriculture per year.
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By: Nyleen Krieske, MITCH Charter School
Hi! I'm Nyleen and I love Oregon Agriculture. In Tillamook you will
find the Tillamook Cheese Factory and it's yummy cheese. The farmers
probably milk 25 or more cows a day. Once they milk the cows they have
to test if the milk is clean. There are 4,000 amazingly different types
of tasty cheese. Does Tillamook mean anything? It does! It means “land
of many waters.” In my opinion, squeaky cheese is the best. The squeaky
cheese is yummy because it has great flavor.
Potatoes have many uses, which are used to make mashed potatoes,
sweet potatoes and more things. But my favorite is French fries!
According to the internet Thomas Jefferson introduced French fries to
the White House. Anyways there are many types of potatoes. There's
Russet, Burbank, Shepody, Dark Red Norland, La Soda, Atlantic and many
more. Did you know that in 2010 McDonalds bought 597 million pounds of
potatoes? That's a lot! I like potatoes and that is what Oregon is
proudly made of!
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By: Hannah Leichty, Myers Elementary
Have you ever had or heard of cranberries? I'm going to tell you about
them. They're just delicious fruits. If you like them, I'm sure you'll
love this essay.
Cranberries are used so many different ways. You
might of have tried them in some of these different ways. You could have
them fresh, or have cranberry juice with another juice. You could make
cranberry sauce, candy, and jelly. These sweet, tasty ways are grand.
Cranberry bogs are great things. They provide fruit for us, and homes
for animals, like birds, like the eagle, Osprey, and Canadian goose.
Also lots of raccoons, deer and otter like to take it as their habitat.
When you eat the fruit, cranberries, you protect yourself from getting
scurvy. So it's good to eat them. If you eat them, you won't get scurvy
(even if you don't, this most likely won't get to you).
are groovy fruits. They taste wonderful. You should love fresh, Oregon
cranberries. Fight back that Scurvy!
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By: Lauren Fespersen, Myers Elementary
Do you celebrate Christmas? If you do, you need a Christmas tree.
This paper will talk about Christmas trees growing and interesting
When the Christmas tree is about 5 feet tall, someone can cut it
down. The life cycle of a Christmas tree is seed, seedling, sprout,
sapling, and tree. Sometimes it can feel like a scratching post.
Christmas trees grow in tree farms. Farmers grow it and you need water
and sun to grow it. Sometimes, it takes more than 10 years to grow it.
I am almost done with my story. The last thing I want to tell you is
some random facts. Did you know a Christmas tree would cost more than 20
dollars! I am done with my story. This paper talked about Christmas
trees. So now, do you celebrate Christmas?
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By: Katrene Kostromitin, Myers Elementary
I like to bite into a juicy sweet strawberry! There are a lot of
strawberries growing in Oregon. I hope you enjoy my story.
Oregon strawberries are one of the state's best fruits. You wouldn't
be happy without a bowl of red, ripe, strawberries. Strawberries like to
live in Oregon because we have “just right” weather for them. They can't
live in super hot areas like Hawaii because they'll dry up!
The strawberry I chose to learn about is the Totem strawberry. A lot
of strawberries live in the Pacific Northwest. These Totem strawberries
are ripe between June-5 and June-24 every year. Do you know why
strawberries taste so good? It is because farmers pick the red, sweet
strawberries when they are perfectly ripe.
People make all kinds of stuff with strawberries. They make milk
shakes, ice cream, yogurt, and all different kinds of goodies. We are
lucky to have strawberries in Oregon.
You just read about my Oregon Totem strawberries. I hope you learned
more about one of Oregon's tasteful fruits.
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By: Isabela Hockett, St. Paul Parochial School
Ms. Debbie Fressen
In my family we are farmers. We grow potatoes, wheat, cabbage and
more! I love to plan ahead before planting stuff. I'm so honored to have
McDonalds be sponsoring the Ag Fair!
I live in St. Paul, Oregon, a farming town and rodeo. The animals you
have there are wonderful. I hope they will have a quality life. I hope
our future for farming will be a success! It is important to have
healthy food. I live in Marion County. My friends and family are very
important to me. They support our farming history.
Here in Marion County we grow grass seed, blueberries, blackberries.
We are good for dairy and nurseries. We should come to the Ag Fair so
you could teach us about the new and old skills to make and discover
things around us. We are in the Willamette Valley. I want to see how
good farmers do it. I want to eat good stuff. I want to learn new
things. I want you to share your imagination with me. I want our future
to be as healthy as it could be. It would be interesting to know what
other farmers do to make their farm a hit. I want to observe nature. My
grandpa owns Marion Ag Farms. His name is Bob Hockett. It is also called
Hockett Farms. Oh sorry I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Isabela
Hockett. I want to decide how to keep my potatoes or even onions fresh.
I love agriculture. No one's too young or old.
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By: BJ Hernandez, Vern Patrick School
Did you ever wonder what grows in Central Oregon?
First, Llamas grow in Deschutes County. Llamas provide us with socks,
gloves, hats and sweaters. The Llamas give us all these supplies by
having their fur used as fiber. Do you ever see Llamas on your way to
school? Well I do. Has a Llama ever tried to spit on you? They have a
nasty habit of spitting on people when you get too close to them. That's
how they protect themselves. Llamas are an important resource in Central
Second, there are rattlesnakes. We have poisonous, slimy rattle
snakes. They live here in Oregon because it is nice and warm. The
Cascades provide a shelter from the rain. They protect themselves by
spitting venom. First, they stick up the big part around their neck.
They will only strike when you try to catch one or try to kill the
snake. These kinds of snakes (rattle snakes) are not too venomous.
Third, cattle are raised in Deschutes County. Have you ever had a big
juicy mouth watering big Mac from McDonalds? Do you ever wonder how we
get that beef? Well most of that beef comes from our cattle. Next time
you go to McDonalds and get a big Mac think of Central Oregon and how
delicious that beef is.
Fourth, forestry is important. Most of Central Oregon has trees,
bushes and forests. The forest is important to the world because animals
use the trees as their homes. Deer, bears, and elk make their home in
the forests of Central Oregon.
In conclusion, many important resources are found in Central Oregon.
Llamas, rattlesnakes, cattle and forests are located in Deschutes
County. When you visit McDonalds, remember where the mouthwatering beef
comes from. Deschutes County is full of growing things.
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By: Colette Heesacker, Visitation Catholic School
Hazelnuts are also know as Filberts. They have many uses like
Nutella, and you can eat them plain after you shell them. My favorite
type is candied hazelnuts by Hazelnut Growers of Oregon. My dad works
for them. I live on a hazelnut farm in the Verboort area.
There are 3 different types of hazelnuts. There are tall sweet ones,
small bitter ones, and medium hazelnuts, which are the most common. They
sell them all around the world. They grow hazelnuts. In the spring they
plant nuts which grow into trees. The trees take 4 years to grow enough
to make enough nuts to sell.
Left over plants are sold to other farmers in the branch. The branch
has to sell 1,000 totes, or more to stay in business. The farms get
money by selling trees, and nuts. Other people can make money from them
because they can make products like Nutella to sell. They can also buy
nuts from us and other companies.
Product information: A serving size is 100 grams,
Carbohydrates 16.7, Sugars 4.34, Dietary Fiber 11, Fat 60.75, Saturated
Fat 4.464, Water 5.31, Protein, 14.95, Calcium 114mg(11%), Iron
4.7mg(36%), Potassium 680mg (14% ), Sodium 0%(0mg).
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