Pasta art honours “spaghetti farmers”

A nine-year-old from Winnipeg with an eye for textures of pasta is the winner of 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.

While many entries showed farmers made of pasta, a runner-up, Sarah Kidd, age 10, of Enterprise, Ont., wrote in her entry that “spaghetti farmers are everyday heroes who look like you and me.”

Mallory Vigier, 11 of Beausejour, Man. was also a runner-up for her essay describing her enjoyment of plain pasta. “No sauces or creams for me,” she wrote. “My spaghetti is perfect the way it is. I’m spaghetti’s No. 1 fan!”

Another runner-up, Elizabeth Chernick, 12, of Rouleau, Sask. drew a spaghetti farmer holding a pitchfork-sized fork wrapped in steaming pasta. The three runners-up each earned a pair of compact binoculars engraved with the CWB logo. The work of all winners and honourable mentions are on display online.

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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