News Release

April 15, 2011

Illinois Youth Wins Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition

Media Contacts:
Kim Betton, (703) 358-2081,
Rachel F. Levin, (703) 298-9256,

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today a pair of ringneck ducks was selected to appear on the 2011-2012 Federal Junior Duck Stamp. The design for the new stamp, painted by 17-year-old Abraham Hunter of Vienna, Ill., was chosen by a panel of judges at the national Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, held at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia. The acrylic entry, which won the Illinois State Junior Duck Stamp Contest, was judged the winner among Best-of-Show entries from all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Proceeds from sales of the Junior Duck Stamp, which the Fish and Wildlife Service sells for $5 to stamp collectors, conservationists and the public, support environmental and conservation education efforts, and awards for contest winners. "I'd like to congratulate our winning artist as well as the participants in the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program," said Acting Director Rowan Gould of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "These young people not only possess amazing artistic talent, but are also future conservation stewards who will care for our birds, fish and other wild creatures." Matthew Messina, 17, of Avon Conn., took second place with an oil painting depicting a single lesser scaup. Third place went to Christine Clayton, 16, of Sidney, Ohio, for her acrylic rendition of a pair of wood ducks. A gallery of all Best of Show entries can be found at The 2011 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest winner was 17-year-old Allison Armstrong of Russellville, Ark., with her entry: "Spread Your Wings, create a splash, make a difference." The National Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest is the culmination of a year-long Junior Duck Stamp conservation curriculum used by K-12 educators across the nation. This year, more than 27,000 Junior Duck Stamp design entries were entered in state competitions held from February until mid-April. The Junior Duck Stamp Contest winner receives a $5,000 cash award. The second place winner receives $3,000, the third place winner receives $2,000, and the Conservation Message winner receives $500. Judges for this year's national Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest were Marvin Moriarty, regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Services Northeast Region; Clark Weaver, who won the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest in 1994 and 1996; Valerie Peckham, conservation program manager at the Philadelphia Zoo; and Bill Stewart, conservation committee chair for the Delmarva Ornithological Society; and Steve Oliver, a Pennsylvania wildlife artist. The First Day of Sale Ceremony for the 2011-2012 Federal and Junior Duck Stamps will be held on June 24 at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World at the Katy Mills Shopping Center in Katy, Texas. It is free and open to the public. Both the Federal and Junior Duck Stamp artists will be available to sign stamps at this event, and the U.S. Postal Service will have a special cancellation for collectors. For more information and a complete list of images and contest results, please see the Junior Duck Stamp Program's home page at The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit