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Farmers market provides scholarship for local student
farmers market scholarship
Jeani Ferrari, one of the founders of Turlock Certified Farmers Market, Denair High senior Dakota Rutherford and TCFM president Theresa Kiehn pose for a photo on Saturday (JOE CORTEZ/The Journal).

Denair High senior Dakota Rutherford is the 2023 recipient of the Jeani Ferrari Scholarship, provided by the Turlock Certified Farmers Market.

Rutherford, who has been active in FFA throughout her high school career, plans to attend Modesto Junior College in the fall.

“I think my FFA experiences helped me a lot with scholarships and applications,” said Rutherford, who has held an FFA leadership position for the past five years. “I’ve learned all sorts of skills, across the board.”

According to Theresa Kiehn, president of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market, Rutherford’s application stood out.

“I just think it was her passion for agriculture and that she wants to stay in our community,” said Kiehn, president and CEO of Modesto-based AgSafe. “So, if we’re able to support a student that’s got that passion, we definitely want to be able to lift her up, knowing that she’ll come back and support the industry.”

Kiehn said the decision to name the scholarship in honor of Ferrari was an easy one.

“Jeani is one of the founders of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market and she has been fighting for our community for decades,” said Kiehn. “It just felt like it was incredibly fitting to honor her legacy and her work.”

Ferrari — along with her husband, John, is a philanthropist and longtime community advocate — has no intention of slowing down.

“The preservation of this world-class farmland is the thing I’ll do until I die,” said Ferrari. “I keep looking over my shoulder to see who’s behind us. To encourage these people to stay involved is not only my work, it’s my joy.”