2015 DuPont Challenge Winner
Lincoln County High School, Tennessee
Brad Parton, agriculture teacher
Kaitlyn Lewter, a recent graduate of Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville, Tenn., was recently recognized by DuPont for having one of the top three essays out of more than 9,000 entries in the DuPont Challenge Senior Division essay contest.
Lewter is the first high school agriculture student to place in the DuPont Challenge essay contest. Her agriculture teacher, Brad Parton, was also recognized. As a senior, Lewter was the Lincoln County High School FFA Chapter President and competed nationally in the FFA agricultural communications contest. She was able to use the skills and knowledge she gained in this competition to complete her essay.
"Katilyn has always been an outstanding student," said Parton. "She graduated at the top of her class this year and has always been very successful in agricultural communications."
Lewter titled her essay Farming Smarter, and in it discussed the use of drones in animal production. Drones have been used for many years in crop production, but Lewter believes that the same technology can be used in animal production. Her own interest for the topic was based on beef cattle production in southern-middle Tennessee, but she also applied the same principles to other areas of animal production, such as fisheries in the northeast United States. Her main focus was for the use of drones to help with heat detection, predator detection, and overall herd management.
For placing third in the contest, Lewter and Parton received an expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center, where they were recognized for their award. Lewter also received a $1000 savings bond and Parton received a $250 teaching grant to use in his classroom, along with access to programs from Encyclopedia Britannica.
Lewter plans to attend the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in the fall and major in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and focus her career on research in veterinary medicine.
For the last 29 years, the DuPont Challenge has awarded students and their teachers for their innovative essays. Over the years, the submissions have provided inspiration for what can be accomplished in science for DuPont. For more information about the DuPont Challenge, and to view the additional winners in the contest, click here.
A Message from our Partners: