Syngenta announced today that Krista Lottinville, a grower from Sheldon, Illinois, and account manager for Burrus Seed Company, is the grand prizewinner of its Drive to Thrive contest. This competition challenged growers and other industry professionals across America to describe how agriculture drives their communities to thrive.

In Lottinville’s winning essay and video submission, she describes how agriculture nurtures the talents of young women with leadership potential and how it specifically has helped foster her professional growth.

“I love agriculture, and I want young women everywhere to love it too,” she said. “It’s an industry that thrives, in part, because of the community of women who are committed to creating more opportunities for female students and other young leaders. I am so excited and very honored by this win, and I greatly appreciate the recognition and support from Syngenta.”

Earlier this year, Syngenta posted the 10 best Drive to Thrive entries, as determined by a panel of judges, onto its Thrive website and invited visitors to vote for their favorite. Based on online voting and the quality of her essay, Lottinville was named the grand prizewinner of a $500 gift card, which she has decided to donate to Women Changing the Face of Agriculture (WCFA). This outreach and leadership development project, initiated by Illinois Agri-Women (IAW), gives young women the opportunity to explore different career paths offered in the agriculture sector. Syngenta also will make a $1,000 donation to WCFA in Lottinville’s name.

“Krista is a role model for all of us in agriculture,” said Kelsey Vance, retail sales representative for Syngenta, who works with Lottinville through IAW and WCFA. “She is super involved and always willing to take on more responsibility to promote women’s leadership in agriculture. We’re proud to support her.”

To read more about Drive to Thrive, Lottinville and the other finalists, visit