GREENSBORO, N.C. — Six students recently received 2022 Accelerating a Generation Syngenta Scholarships. These students, who are acquiring degrees focused on agricultural pursuits, will each receive a $2,500 scholarship.
“These students give us confidence that the agricultural industry will continue to enjoy strong leadership,” said Pam Caraway, communications lead for Syngenta.
As part of their award packages, the scholars individually selected agriculture-related nonprofit organizations to receive $500 gifts on their behalf.
The selected winners and their designated charities are:
• Taylor Baggett from Jay, Florida, a sophomore at the University of Florida — Farm Aid.
• Regan Draeger from Lindsey, Ohio, a senior at The Ohio State University — The Roper’s 4-H Club.
• Luke Heupel from Kalispell, Montana, a sophomore at Montana State University — Field of Hope.
• Johanna Hooten from Red Bud, Illinois, a senior at Murray State University — The Arboretum at Murray State University.
• Deziree Lee from Coffeyville, Kansas, a freshman at Kansas State University — Montgomery County 4-H Fair.
• Ashlyn Persyn from Hondo, Texas, a freshman at Texas A&M University — Medina Valley FFA Boosters.
Hooten, a first-generation college student majoring in horticulture, said agricultural scholarships like this are “a true blessing” because they are helping her remain debt-free while she pursues her degree.
“I continue to study agriculture because it truly is my passion,” she said. “I have always been fascinated by specialty crops such as pumpkins and watermelons, so I decided to get a degree in horticulture.
“It brings me great joy to teach others about the agriculture industry, and I know that the only way to give others reliable information is to learn it first myself. That is why I felt it was important to continue my education in an agriculture-specific major after high school.”
Likewise, Heupel sees agriculture as a way to help better the planet and its people.
“The world’s population is increasing, and its amount of usable farmland is decreasing,” he said. “Things need to be done to ensure that farmers will be able to feed the world. I believe that a degree in agriculture will allow me to do my part in helping to feed the world.”
The recipients say they also appreciate the opportunity to give back to their community, as well with the $500 gift that comes along with the scholarship.
Hooten will give back to her university’s arboretum, while Heupel will donate to Field of Hope, a charity that works with developing countries to increase their agricultural stability.
Draeger said she is happy to help the 4-H club that she has been a member of since age 11.
“This club provided me with opportunities to become involved in my community and develop essential life skills,” she said. “These 4-H members are invested in their community, and this donation will allow them to continue serving their community to the best of their ability. It will enable these members to continue developing as the future generation of agriculturalists.”
Those interested in applying for the scholarship for 2023 can visit the FFA Scholarship portal at https://tinyurl.com/3ujpvwma. Applications open in November.