2013 Turlock Chamber of Commerce Ag Scholarship recipients:
• Turlock High School: Gerrit Dykzeul, Kayla Hilvers
• Pitman High School: Austin Alvaji, Joseph Geraldes, Jorgan Hanson, Megan O'Connell, Lucas Schultz
• Livingston High School: Hailey Ward
• Hughson High School: Melanie Berner, Brad Borges, Jessica Hamilton, Nayeli Ruiz, Kyle Weststeyn
• Hilmar High School: Anton Fernandes, Andrew Vieira
• Waterford High School: Miranda Blagg
• California State University, Stanislaus: Spencer Baptista
For the past 13 years, the Turlock Chamber of Commerce’s Ag Committee has supported the future of the region's number one industry through its Annual Ag Scholarship event.
The scholarship program is intended to encourage and interest the younger generation to enter the agricultural industry. It is the Committee's belief that everyone will benefit from the donations: the students who receive assistance towards attaining their education goals; the industry who will receive promising talent; and the overall economy that benefits from continued innovation in ag business.
“We have a great Ag Committee that does all it can for their programs,” said Turlock Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Silva. “They are totally committed to keeping the future of agriculture in our community, and they are committed to this event. I would love to say thank you to that group publicly. They have made this event successful.”
Since it began, the Ag Committee has provided 207 scholarship opportunities for local students, totaling near $152,000. It has also donated $76,000 to additional activities, including the Junior Livestock Exhibition, and 4-H Farmyard Experience at the Stanislaus County Fair.
Within this year alone, the Turlock Ag Committee has invested almost $20,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors enrolled in related majors of agriculture thanks to local sponsors and donations from E&J Gallo Winery, Lander Veterinary Clinic, Blue Diamond, Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, Hilmar Cheese Company, and nearly 70 other local businesses.
The Scholarship Program that took place in mid-March welcomed local alumni guest speakers Trent Voss of Hughson High School and Sean Locke of Hilmar High School. Voss is currently attending California State University, Stanislaus working towards his bachelor's in Ag Studies while Locke has recently graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Dairy Science and a minor in Ag Business.
“Each year we hear from past scholarship recipients and are rewarded knowing that this investment returns to us as talented young professionals in our agribusiness community,” said Bart Muller, chairman of the Ag Scholarship Committee.