The Blue Diamond Growers Foundation has awarded 25 college students in California scholarships for the 2022–2023 academic year. Among the 25 recipients are Hilmar’s Morgan Oliveira and Turlock’s Brooke Miranda, Joshua Hack and Stephanie Temnyk.
“We are proud of this year’s scholarship award recipients and wish them the best as they pursue their continuing education,” said Dan Cummings, chairman of the Board of Directors for Blue Diamond Growers. “The Blue Diamond Growers Foundation is committed to helping support this next generation of students who will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the agricultural industry in the years to come.”
To qualify for the Blue Diamond Growers Foundation Scholarship, students must currently live in almond growing regions of California, intend to pursue a college major in agriculture-related fields, have a GPA of 3.3 or higher, have enrollment verification to a college or university offering a four-year degree and be either dependents of Blue Diamond employees or members of local communities who are pursuing agriculture-related fields of study.
In the August edition of Blue Diamond’s “Almond Facts” magazine, each of the recipients shared some of their career goals and explained how the scholarship funds could help them on their journey.
Hack is currently attending Modesto Junior College where he is double majoring in Ag Business and Mathematics. After completing his A.S. degrees, Hack plans to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to major in Bio Resource and Ag Engineering in hopes of achieving a career in the irrigation industry.
“With my degree I hope to work in the irrigation industry, either designing irrigation systems
for farmers to optimize their individual situation or work towards a more sustainable water systems to help farmers maximize their allotted water and have enough water to
grow their crops,” he said. “I want to work to be part of the solution to the water crisis in California so that the farmers have enough water to effectively grow their crops.”
Oliveira is also attending Modesto Junior College, majoring in Ag Communications. She also has plans to transfer to Cal Poly in the future.
“I plan on earning my associate degree in Agribusiness before attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to earn a master’s degree in Agriculture Communications and a teaching credential,” she said. “My future education will not only help me to serve the agriculture community in terms of advocating for it, but also helping others advocate for it. As a future agriculture educator, I know I hold a truly important task, inspiring the future generation to be a part of the agricultural industry. My goal is to continue my current mission as a leader within the FFA organization: helping members create their own passion for agriculture.”
Meanwhile, Miranda plans to major in Agribusiness or Agri-law at Clemson University to learn more about the rights delegated to farmers, such as land and water.
“As a daughter of a dairy farmer, my parents have taught me the importance of agriculture and the impact it has on our world,” she said. “I would advocate for California farmers and agriculture by pursuing my career here in the Valley. I will support the rights of farmers and continue to spread the good of our California agriculture. With all the hate towards agriculture, it motivates me to help inform people of all the good ag brings our world.”
Temnyk is also attending school out of state, as she is attending Arizona State University to major in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology.
“I am on track to begin my master's in Fall 2022, concurrently with my bachelor’s, and my PhD in fall 2024,” she said. “I have already experienced the scientific process in joining a lab team researching the effects of light duration (photoperiod) on indoor vertical strawberry gardening.
Temnyk added that the implications from this research can pave the path for higher yields, lower
costs and improved fruit quality.
“Overall, my efforts serve to better understand the science of plant varieties, unlocking the mechanisms of poorly understood genes and tracing their evolutionary history. The research I perform can help me to one day boost horticultural yields for farmers and broaden plant nutritional profiles for undernourished communities,” she said.
The Blue Diamond Growers Foundation was founded in 2008 with the goal of providing scholarships to students who have demonstrated excellent academic performance and are pursuing a four-year college degree. Since then, the Blue Diamond Foundation has awarded nearly 175 scholarships to help students in local communities achieve their dreams of a college education.
More on Temnyk, Miranda, Oliveira, Hack and the other 21 scholarship recipients can be found on the full Almond Facts publication, which can be accessed digitally at www.bluediamondgrowers.com/almond-facts. For more information on Blue Diamond’s Scholarship Foundation or to donate to the scholarship fund, head to www.bluediamondgrowers.com/scholarship-program.