Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County has awarded more than $130,000 to top students in Sonoma and Marin Counties pursuing higher education in agricultural related fields. This year, 44 students will receive scholarships.
All of the recipients are graduating high school seniors and students continuing their education at a four year university or the Santa Rosa Junior College. Scholarship winners are majoring in agricultural business, animal science, dairy science, ag education, viticulture and diesel technology.
The Farm Bureau Foundation, a non-profit charitable foundation, administers scholarships provided by organizations, businesses and individuals to assist deserving students in their agriculture education. The Farm Bureau Foundation was established in 2006, and this year’s awards reflect the tremendous generosity of donors who want to support and develop the next generation of agricultural leaders.
Donor-named scholarships are available to sponsor beginning at $1,000. Lesser donations are shared in a Next Generation category that pools funds to support students with scholarships or through additional agriculture literacy programming.
The scholarship applicants are judged on academic achievement, leadership, community service and dedication to pursuing a career in agriculture.
Fifty nine students applied for scholarships. After interviewing with a panel of six judges, 44 applicants were selected to receive scholarships. The members of the scholarship interview and selection panel were William “BJ’ Bertacco, a senior loan officer at American AgCredit; Marcia Mickelson, a 4th generation winegrower; Vicki Michalczyk, Russian River Valley vineyard owner; Sara Brandenburg of Associated Propane; Taylor Serres, a Sonoma County farmer and representative of YF&R; and Kim Vail executive director of Sonoma County Farm Bureau.
Scholarships awarded ranged from $12,500 to $500 and were based off the applicants’ oral interviews, financial need and applications which included a personal statement. The scholarship applicants are judged on academic achievement, leadership, community service and dedication to pursuing a career in agriculture.