Poster Contest


2017 Conservation Poster Contest

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company makes it possible for CDI to partner with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) to offer the 2017 Conservation Poster Contest. A total of 45 awards are given. Any child that resides in Iowa, is a public, private or home school student in Kindergarten through 12th grade with a participating SWCD can participate. Visit and on the map, select the county in which your school is located to find your SWCD Office.

What’s new?!

  • This year’s new Poster Contest Theme  is “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life”
  • Please note the 2017 Deadlines!

2017 Application Process & Deadlines

  • October, 2016: Participating SWCD’s get the word out about the 2017 Conservation Poster Contest.
  • Friday, March 24, 2017: Applicants must submit their poster accompanied by the Poster Contest Entry Form to the SWCD office in the county which their school is located. Entry forms must be legible and complete, including a guardian/parental signature and their SWCDs information or the poster cannot be considered. Make sure a copy is securely attached to the back of the submitted poster.
  • Friday, April 28, 2017: The local SWCD chooses one county winner from each of the five grade categories to submit to their CDI Regional Director via email with a Photo of Each Winning Poster, their Poster Contest Entry Form, and a completed District Winners Form.
  • Friday, May 19, 2017: CDI Regional Directors will have chosen 45 winners to move on for state consideration, there is one regional winner from each of the 9 regions in each of the 5 categories. CDI Regional Directors will submit to CDI via email a Photo of Each Winning Poster, their Poster Contest Entry Form, the District Winners Form, and the Regional Winners Form.
  • Friday, June 9, 2017: CDI Regional Directors & Alternates will choose one state winner from each of the five categories from those 45 regional winners.
  • June, 2017: CDI will send awards to local SWCD offices who will in turn notify the student, school & local media. The five SWCDs with state poster contest winners will send the original poster to CDI. Posters must be packaged in a cardboard mailer so they remain flat when sent to CDI.
  • July 17 – 18, 2017: The five state winning posters will be displayed during the 2017 Annual Conference for Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners.
  • August, 2017: The five state winning posters will be sent to the national poster contest for consideration for a national award and displayed at the 2018 NACD Annual Meeting in February.


  • Local SWCD’s may finance an award to winners at the county level.
  • The five winners in each grade category within each of the nine regions will receive a $35 cash award.
  • Each of the five first place state winners will receive $50 cash award rather than $35. They will then be sent to the national poster contest for consideration for a national award.

Rules & Selection Criteria

  • Posters must reflect and include the title of this year’s contest theme “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life” on the poster. Don’t use any other phrase; this is the only title eligible for the national poster contest.
  • The following rules apply. Posters must be made on regular poster paper. The size of the poster can range from 8.5×11 inches up to 22×28 inches. Mediums including paint, crayons, colored pencils, charcoal, stickers, magic markers, paper, or whatever inspires the students can be used. No three-dimensional effects are allowed.
  • Iowa children who participate in the poster contest are divided into five divisions:
    • Division 1 – Grades K and 1
    • Division 2 – Grades 2 and 3
    • Division 3 – Grades 4 through 6
    • Division 4 – Grades 7 through 9
    • Division 5 – Grades 10 through 12
  • Posters are judged based on the following criteria:
    • 50% for Conservation Message
    • 30% for Visual Effectiveness
    • 10% for Originality
    • 10% for Universal Appeal


  • Please utilize the downloads on the CDI website, and visit the NACD website, to fully understand the Conservation Poster Contest guidelines and for great education and poster creation resources!


Download Poster Contest Rules

Download Poster Contest Promotional Flyer Template

Download Poster Contest Entry Form to be submitted with poster entries

Download Poster Contest Judging Form for evaluating individual posters

Download Poster Contest District Winner Form to submit to Regional Directors

Download Poster Contest Regional Winners Form for Regional Directors

Link to the NACD Poster Contest Information