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Chamber Ag Committee awards $27,500 in scholarships

Chamber Ag Committee awards $27,500 in scholarships

The Turlock Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee awarded $27,500 in scholarships to 17 local students this year.


POSTED March 14, 2017 6:18 p.m.

Turlock High School senior Charley Baptista’s hard work in her school’s FFA program and local 4-H club in the past paid off — literally — Tuesday as she received a $1,000 scholarship from the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee during their annual luncheon at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

Baptista was one of 17 local students who received a scholarship during the 17th annual Ag Scholarship Luncheon, which awarded $27,500 this year. She said that she has plans to attend Modesto Junior College for two years before transferring to Cal Poly, where she hopes to major in agriculture communications with a minor in computer science.

“I would like to eventually work for the Almond Board of California,” said Baptista. “So, I’d like to thank the Turlock Chamber of Commerce for giving me this opportunity.”

Just one day after receiving his State FFA Degree, Livingston High School senior Anakin Cisneros said he was “filled with pride” as he received a $1,000 scholarship during Tuesday’s luncheon. With plans to attend Stanislaus State and pursue a degree in biological sciences in the fall, Cisneros hopes to be the first one in his family to earn a college degree.

“I want to thank the ag leadership and FFA programs for helping pave my way into agriculture,” said Cisneros. “These experiences have given me the passion and dedication to pursue a career working with animals.”

In the last 17 years, the Ag Committee has raised over $300,000 in donations from the community. To date, the Ag Scholarship Luncheon has provided $239,100 in scholarships to nearly 300 students and has helped promote agricultural education at the Stanislaus County Fair.

The Ag Committee also awarded the second annual Jim Booth Memorial Scholarships in the amount of $2,500 to Hughson High School senior Adriana Gudino and Livingston High School senior Lindsay Silva. The memorial scholarship was created after Booth, who was a former member of the Ag Committee since its inception in 2001, passed away in May 2015.

“The family recognized that the Ag Committee was a passion of Jim’s and they wanted his legacy to continue with some scholarships,” said Ag Committee Chair Vince Flanders. “These scholarships were awarded for some attributes that were very important to Jim: leadership skills, teamwork, follow through, self-confidence, motivation to succeed, community presence, honesty, integrity and morals.”

Frantz Wholesale Nursery President and Turlock Irrigation District Director Michael Frantz was the guest speaker during Tuesday’s luncheon. During his speech, Frantz educated those in attendance regarding the Worth Your Fight Campaign and the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal to allocate 40 percent of unimpaired flows along the Tuolumne River for fish and wildlife.

“The reality is each of you are the steward of the Tuolumne River and it’s up to all of us to step up,” said Frantz. “You are best equipped to help solve this problem. The State hasn't been good at restoring native fisheries, but this local community has been really good at finding solutions to solve problems on-farm and with our water system.

“So, I’m here to encourage the young people who are looking for the future of farming to understand that our heritage and our history is rich. Understand that committing yourself to being a steward of the land and a steward of the natural resources is worth the fight. I’m committed to it and I hope each of you will be too,” continued Frantz.

Tuesday’s alumni speaker was Lindsey Teixeira, who graduated from Hilmar High School in 2003 and was awarded a $1,000 ag scholarship as a high school senior. Teixeira said that she was able to use her scholarship money towards books and tuition at Modesto Junior College.

“This money enabled me to focus more on my continuing education and school activities rather than all the expenses that come along with going to college,” said Teixeira.

Teixeira earned her associate’s degree in agribusiness and agricultural sales and service at MJC before transferring to Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, where she majored in agribusiness with a concentration in finance and appraisal. She graduated in December 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness.

“In May of 2008, I accepted a credit analyst position with Yosemite Farm Credit,” said Teixeira. “I have been employed with YFC ever since, transferring from a credit analyst position to a chattel appraiser in February of 2013.

“I am very grateful for the Turlock Chamber of Commerce as well as other scholarship organizations for the support and contribution they gave students, allowing them to follow their dreams,” added Teixeira.

 

 

 

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