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Pasta purists win prizes

A nine-year-old from Winnipeg with an eye for textures of pasta and an 11-year-old spaghetti fan from Beausejour are among the winners in the Canadian Wheat Board’s contest to describe a “spaghetti farmer.”

The CWB in October launched the contest for children age 12 and under to submit artwork and writing showing a spaghetti farmer or describing “what makes their pasta perfect.”

The contest was held in conjunction with the kickoff of a new national marketing campaign between the CWB and Toronto pasta processor Primo Foods, to promote Prairie durum to Canadian pasta consumers.

Out of over 100 entrants from coast to coast, nine-year-old Lucien Stratton of Winnipeg won the grand prize, a Wii system and Wii Fit Balance Board, for his portrayal of a spaghetti farmer surrounded by a field of pasta. Stratton glued pasta into his fields, incorporating 10 shapes and types of actual pasta into his multimedia image.

“What was clear in (all entries) was that Canadian kids love pasta and have great respect for the farmers who grow their food,” said David Burrows, CWB vice-president of communications and government relations, in a release Friday announcing the contest winners.

Meanwhile, 11-year-old Mallory Vigier of Beausejour won an honourable mention for her short essay. She wrote: “Coming home from curling one crisp winter day, I think, ‘Hmm… I sure hope my mom is making her fabulous spaghetti tonight.’ Walking through the door, I smell… spaghetti! No sauces or creams for me. My spaghetti is perfect just the way it is. I’m spaghetti’s No. 1 fan!”

Vigier and two other runners-up earned a pair of 8×21-mm compact binoculars engraved with the CWB logo. The work of all winners and honourable mentions are on display online.

Four other Manitoba artists and writers were among nine entrants who earned honourable mentions, including five-yearolds Hailey Chappell of Hamiota and Erica Pouteau of Mariapolis, and Breanna and Katrina Stratton, ages seven and 11 respectively, both of Winnipeg.

Several entries displayed a detailed knowledge of agriculture, the CWB said. “Many Prairie kids drew harvest scenes and intricate machinery, with several depicting their real-life durum-farming parents or grandparents.”

The CWB has in recent months made several forays into active consumer-level promotion of the Prairie wheat brand, including co-branding and promotions with Robin Hood flour starting early this year.

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