Chicago Farmers Markets Award Bag Design Award to Local Students

      Posted On: May 18, 2009

CHICAGO (May 15, 2009)  Shoppers will have an extra reason to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Chicago Farmers Markets this summer. They will tote home fresh fruits and vegetables in canvas bags designed by Jonathan Nathan.

COUNTRY Financial presented Nathan, a Mather High School senior, with a $1,000 scholarship on Thursday, May 14 during a Chicago Farmers Markets Kick Off at Daley Plaza. COUNTRY sponsored its Second Farmers Markets Reusable Bag Design Contest for Chicago Public School students in April. Nathan’s winning design was chosen from more than 150 entries.

Mackenzie Owca, a Mather High School junior, placed second, while Lili He, a Hubbard High School senior, won third place. They each received a $500 scholarship.

COUNTRY is a presenting sponsor of the Chicago Farmers Markets and recipient of the Publicity Club of Chicago’s 2009 Silver Trumpet Award for community relations. The new, reusable canvas bags will be available to farmers markets shoppers in May. Nathan’s design features the renowned Chicago skyline and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables.

“COUNTRY is pleased to reward Chicago public school students for their artwork and creativity. We know farmers market shoppers will enjoy Jonathan’s artwork as they fill their bags with fresh, locally grown goods produced by area farmers and artisans,” says Mike Fisher, COUNTRY director of new market development.

To see the winning design along with other contest finalists, visit:

COUNTRY ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. Founded in 1925, COUNTRY entered the Chicago market in 2007, and has opened seven neighborhood offices in Beverly, Bridgeport, Dunning, Garfield Ridge, Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square. Within the next three years, COUNTRY plans to have 20 Chicago offices and 100 employees. COUNTRY helps clients protect what they have, save for a comfortable future, and in turn, achieve financial security.