Samantha Derrick of Oregon High School and her rendering of a ring-necked duck titled “Ringing around the Pond” has been selected as the 2019 Best of Show winner for the Wisconsin Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest.

As Wisconsin’s Best of Show winner, Derrick’s art will be judged at the national competition held on April 19 at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland. The national winning artwork will be created into the 2019-20 Junior Duck Stamp and sold for $5 to support conservation education.

Over 50 pieces of artwork, one from each state, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories, are entered in the national contest.

Ethan Forbes, age 16, from Wausau, will also be competing at the national contest with his winning conservation message, “Conservation and education – The keys to protecting our waterfowl now and in the future!”

Friends of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge will present Derrick, age 15, with a $100 prize, a specially matted frame for her art and this year’s National Jr. Duck Stamp once it is printed. Ducks Unlimited has also provided a life-sized greater scaup decoy for her.

Forbes will receive a “Nature Connection” outdoor phenology journal to continue to inspire his writing and field sketching.

The 2019 Wisconsin Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest drew 258 entries from students across the state, with the top 100 earning recognition for their artwork.

Contest judges were:

  • Bill Miller, retired Adams County conservation warden.
  • Mark Pfost, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge private lands biologist.
  • BillieJo Scharfenberg, professional artist and local mentor and art instructor.
  • Stephen Senechal, 2019 Wisconsin state turkey stamp competition winning artist.
  • Nells Swenson, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate and Duck Unlimited public policy chairman.

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of the NNWR served as Wisconsin’s state coordinators and are planning for the 2020 contest, working with existing and new mentors, classrooms, and Jr. Duck outreach events.

The top 36 winning entries from the state of Wisconsin will be showcased in two traveling displays across the state from May 2019 to March of 2020. For a schedule of the traveling display locations or for additional information about the contest, contact the Wisconsin Junior Duck Stamp state coordinator at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge at 608-565-2551 or

This contest was conducted with support of Wisconsin teachers, volunteers and area sponsors including: Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, and Ducks Unlimited.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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