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(For the week of February 16, 2009)
Bird Dog Foundation Essay Contest
by James L. Cummins

The Bird Dog Foundation was established to preserve and promote the tradition of bird dogs, field trials and shooting sports. It has rapidly expanded its scope in the few short years since its inception.

Its museum complex, located in Grand Junction, Tennessee, not far from Holly Springs, Mississippi, includes a vast display of art, photography, artifacts and memorabilia related to bird dog pursuits. Included in this complex is the National Bird Dog Museum, the Field Trial Hall of Fame and the Wildlife Heritage Center.

The National Bird Dog Museum not only contains portraits and exhibits, but you will also find many works of notable sporting dog artists and sculptors displayed there. The Field Trial Hall of Fame pays eloquent tribute to those who have so strongly impacted the bird dog and field trial scenes. The Wildlife Heritage Center provides a wide array of exciting exhibits on numerous species of upland game. It contains a large, fully-equipped auditorium, classroom and kitchen to easily accommodate seminars, banquets and conferences. The William F. Brown Memorial Library is located in this learning center and is furnished with an extensive collection of literature and periodicals pertaining to sporting dogs, breeding, hunting, training, field trailing, conservation, game management and wildlife art.

Through its innovative education and outreach programs, the Bird Dog Foundation seeks to promote the human-dog relationship and to inspire permanent regard for wildlife in general, especially among our nation’s young people. They sponsor an annual Bird Dog Foundation College Scholarship Essay Contest for all high school seniors from public, private, home schools and Child Development Centers.

The contest has a First and Second Place award of $1,500.00 and $1,000.00, respectively

Some of the suggested topics for the essays are: Agroforestry, Animal Ethics, Conservation of Natural Resources, Habitat Preservation, The Hunting Dog, Outdoor Heritage, Pollution, Preservation vs. Conservation of Wildlife, The Role of Hunters and Fishermen in Conservation, River Ethics and Wilderness Access just to name a few.

Only students in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas are eligible to enter. There are no charges or fees required to enter this annual contest. The deadline for submissions this year is February 28, 2009.

Contest rules may be downloaded directly from (under the Art & Essay Contest section) or they are available by contacting Lucy Cogbill, Education Coordinator at P.O. Box 774, Grand Junction, Tennessee 38039 or by calling her at (731) 764-2058.

James L. Cummins is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and plant resources throughout Mississippi.