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Winner of $2,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial®

ARDEN HILLS, MINN. (May 20, 2018) – Blaine High School student Abarna Anandaraj was announced yesterday as the winner of the 2018 Minneapolis Farmers Market Reusable Bag Design Contest, which earns her a $2,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial and the pride of having her artwork grace the popular canvas bags given to market shoppers throughout the season.

The 16-year-old says one of her artistic goals has been to share her artwork on the Minneapolis Farmers Market bag.

“I was inspired by the brightness of summer,” said Anandaraj, who envisions a career that incorporates her artistic talents. “I used colors that were bright and vibrant like yellow, pink and green, and I included vegetables and flowers that matched that theme. I think the brightness also captures the freshness of the market.”

The contest was open to high school students in the Twin Cities who wanted to vie for a scholarship by showcasing their passion for art and locally grown food. They submitted designs around the theme of, “You’ve Got a Lot Growing for You,” and were required to include the phrase “2018 Minneapolis Farmers Market” within their artwork.

The first runner-up is Antonio Villagomez of DeLaSalle High School, who earns a $1,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial. The second runner-up is Humboldt High School’s Der Vue, who earns a $500 scholarship.

This is the seventh year in a row COUNTRY Financial has sponsored the Minneapolis Farmers Market Bag Design Contest.

“COUNTRY Financial’s roots are in agriculture, so we’re honored to partner with the Minneapolis Farmers Market on an event that helps bring farmers’ products to market,” said Doug Pyle, Agency Manager at COUNTRY Financial. “And it’s wonderful to see the excitement these students have for an initiative that showcases their talents and supports Minnesota’s agricultural community.”

For more information on the reusable bag design contest, please


About COUNTRY Financial®

The COUNTRY Financial® group ( serves nearly one million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home, business, farm and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.

About Minneapolis Farmers Market

The Minneapolis Farmers Market—run by the Central Minnesota Vegetable Growers non-profit—is dedicated to bringing the highest quality, most delicious, fresh, sustainably-farmed plants, fruits, vegetables and farmstead products to its patrons, since 1876. The Minneapolis Market is a source for fresh produce and products for people all over the Twin Cities, served by more than 230 vendors, with a main Lyndale Market open daily May to November. Visit for events and information.

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