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Minnesota teen wins Junior Duck Stamp Contest

A 16-year-old Minnesota girl took first place in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.

An acrylic rendering of Northern pintails by Bonnie Latham of Hastings, Minn., was judged to be the top winner among entries from all 50 states. Lathamís design became the 2000-2001 Federal Junior Duck Stamp.

A talent for waterfowl art runs in Bonnie Lathamís family; two years ago, her older sister Rebecca, then 18, took second place in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Both Bonnie and Rebecca have been home schooled by their mother, Karen, an artist who owns Natureís Pallette art gallery in Hastings.

Bonnie, only the second female to have won the Junior Duck Stamp Contest since its inception in 1993, says she plans to enter the Federal contest as soon as she turns 18 and is eligible.

Yevgeniy Rybakov, 15, of East Wenatchee, Wash., took second place with his acrylic painting of a wood duck.

Third place went to Garrison Doctor, 16, of Boulder, Colo., for his watercolor titled "Cinnamon Teal at Twilight."

Every state participates in the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest each year. The Contest is part of an innovative educational curriculum that teaches youngsters in grades K-12 about wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

The Junior Duck Stamp Contest has served as a springboard for a number of young artists who have gone on to enter the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, including the current Federal Duck Stamp artist, 21-year-old Adam Grimm of Elyria, Ohio. Grimm placed fourth in the Junior Duck Stamp contest in 1996 and is the youngest duck stamp artist ever and the first to have placed previously in the Junior contest. His design graces the 2000-2001 Federal Duck Stamp (RW67).

Creating the Junior Duck Stamp design is a major part of the year long Junior Duck Stamp curriculum used by educators in their classrooms. Each state sends Junior Duck Stamp design entries to a designated point where they are judged by a group of people active in the local wildlife art or conservation community.

State "Best of Show" winning designs are sent to Washington, D.C., where three national winners are chosen by a panel of five judges. The top three Junior Duck Stamp Contest winners receive a free trip to Washington, D.C., along with their art teachers and one of their parents, the following November to be honored at the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. The first-place winner also receives a $2,500 scholarship award.

Judges for this yearís national Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest were: Tom Hipschen, a picture engraver with the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Craig Rieben, chief of the Service's Office of Broadcasting and Audiovisual Services; JoAnn Schneider of the Interior Departmentís Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and a former manager for the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program; Margaret Wendy also a former manager for the Junior Duck Stamp Program; and Jim Wortham, a pilot and biologist with the Serviceís Office of Migratory Bird Management in Laurel, Md.

For more information on the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Program and Design Contest, contact Ms. Terry Bell, Federal Duck Stamp Office, 1849 C St., NW, Room 2058, Washington, DC 20240, telephone 202-208-4354.

Stamps are now available from Sam Houston Duck Co. Single mint stamps are $7 each, artist signed stamps are $15, and plate blocks of four are $30.

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