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Farmers Markets

Chicago High School Senior Wins COUNTRY Financial Farmers Market Bag Design Contest

(Left to Right) Second Runner-up Katherine Santana of Mather High School, First Runner-up Michelle Vonguyen of Mather High School, Winner Karen Ocana of Mather High School, and Mike Fisher of COUNTRY Financial

May 9, 2019

CHICAGO, Ill. - The 2019 Chicago City Markets kicked off on May 9, 2019, at Daley Plaza. Officials from the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial® unveiled the 2019 reusable bag design, created by Mather High School Senior Karen Ocana. Karen will receive a $2,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial, and her artwork will be printed on 11,000 bags to be handed out at the market this season.

COUNTRY Financial and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) received 39 entries from high school students in the Chicago area. Students were asked to submit designs with the theme “Growing a Green Future,” and were required to include the phrase “2019 Chicago City Markets” within the design.

The runners-up for the bag design contest are Michelle Vonguyen (first runner-up), and Katherine Santana (second runner-up), both of Mather High School. Vonguyen will receive a $1,000 scholarship and Santana will receive $500 from COUNTRY Financial.

COUNTRY Financial has sponsored the Chicago City Markets Bag Design Contest for 13 years. “COUNTRY Financial’s roots are in agriculture, and we’re excited to be a part of the Chicago City Markets again this year, which spotlights so many local vendors,” said Mike Fisher, Vice President of Community Business Development at COUNTRY Financial. “We’re always so impressed with the artistic talent from our local students, and are honored to provide them with scholarships to pursue their passion.”

For more information on the bag design contest, please visit

About COUNTRY Financial®

COUNTRY Financial is a marketing name for COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company® and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, Ill. COUNTRY Financial serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a wide range of insurance and financial products and services.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit

Media Contacts
Carrie Skogsberg
(309) 821-4175

Mary May, DCASE 
(312) 744-0576