Ag scholarship awardees announced
Posted 04 - 01 - 2008
Photo ID: Receiving scholarships Monday evening at the Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation Banquet, were, from left, Bonnie Vermeulen, Casey Watson, Jodi Hill, John Casey Thompson and Hailey Y'Barbo (Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

The Agriculture Committee of Nacogdoches County awarded five $500 scholarships Monday evening at the Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation Banquet. The scholarships were sponsored by Austin Bank, Texas N.A., Cal-Tex Lumber Company, Inc., Heritage Land Bank, Mast Cattle Company and Nacogdoches County Agriculture Committee.

Bonnie Vermeulen is a senior at SFA majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Spanish. She is a graduate of Nacogdoches High School.

Casey Watson is a senior at SFA majoring in Animal Science-Equestrian with a General Business minor. She is the daughter of Jerry and Judy Schulze and a graduate of Douglass High School.

Jody Hill is an SFA Senior who graduated from Nacogdoches High School. She is an Animal Science-Equestrian major, active with the SFA Ranch Horse Team.

John Casey Thompson is a senior at Central Heights High School and active in FFA. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Thompson. He intends to major in forestry at SFA.

Hailey Y’Barbo is a senior at Martinsville High School. She is currently ranked first in her class and is active in FFA. She intends to major in Agribusiness with a general Business minor at SFA. Her parents are Doug and Patti Y’Barbo.

The scholarship were awarded to forestry, horticulture, agriculture and environmental science majors attending Stephen F. Austin State University, or Nacogdoches high school students planning to major in those areas beginning this fall.

“These scholarships are open to Nacogdoches County high school seniors or existing and transfer students who reside in Nacogdoches County who have similar goals as the Nacogdoches Agricultural Committee,” said David Alders, chairman of the committee.

Applicants had to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above, be a resident of Nacogdoches County and attended a Nacogdoches County education institution whether public, private or home school.

Preference was given to students who demonstrated that they have been active in FFA, 4-H or other ag related activities. Applicants filled out SFA’s standard application, and included a letter noting why the student should receive the scholarship, and two references from educational instructors.

“We intend to award more scholarships next year, with deadlines most likely in early February,” Alders said. “SFA students who apply for scholarships through the SFA Alumni Association are also considered if they qualify.”

The Nacogdoches Agriculture Committee consists of representatives from the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp., Texas Cooperative Extension Service, Pineywoods RC&D, Stephen F. Austin State University Agriculture Department and the Texas Forest Service.

“We work together to promote agriculture and agricultural-related business in Nacogdoches County,” said Alders. “We identify economic development strategies and resources and establish relationships that result in growth in agri-business and agri-business research in Nacogdoches County.”
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