FFA and 4-H high school seniors in the Parker County area are completing their nomination applications for the 6th Annual AgYouth of the Month scholarship program, which has already awarded over $100,000 in scholarships. The online nominations are due Friday, Oct. 23.
AgTexas Farm Credit Services established the program in 2015 as a way to call positive attention to the outstanding work that high school students are investing themselves in to benefit agriculture, their schools and their communities. Even during the virtual learning caused by the coronavirus, students are still raising and grooming their livestock.
They will join this past spring’s honoree from the Weatherford area, Maci Wisdom (Parker County 4-H and Peaster 4-H). Maci also received a $1,000 scholarship check.
This spring’s award ceremony took place on Facebook Live due to social gathering restrictions.
“The pandemic reveals that we live in a changing world, and it also shows that we will find innovative solutions to our challenges by becoming more resourceful and imaginative,” AgTexas Farm Credit CEO Tim McDonald said. “The purpose of the AgYouth program is to recognize and support our young ag leaders while building relationships within the communities that we serve. These students represent some of the best and brightest minds of the next generation of agriculture in Texas and the United States.
“It’s our privilege to once again pay tribute to their achievements thus far and encourage them for the future.”
Students involved in both 4-H and FFA benefit from their organizations’ emphasis on leadership development and public speaking, both of which help these emerging leaders grow their confidence and presentation skills.
Through the AgYouth program, students submit their applications until Friday, Oct. 23. All senior students in good standing with their local FFA or 4-H program and high school within counties in which AgTexas serves are eligible for nomination by going online to agtexas.com/news/ag-youth.
A total of 78 students will be selected as Ag Youths of the Month. Each honoree will receive a $100 gift card, a certificate of achievement and will be featured in their local newspaper and on social media.
The highlight of the program is the spring banquet, which introduces the Weatherford area honorees to fellow students from the Central Texas region. Past keynote speakers at the banquet have included Hall of Fame rodeo announcer and AgTexas spokesman Bob Tallman, former Texas FFA Vice President John Smithwick from Idalou, 2017 scholarship recipient Jacey Snapp and then-2018-19 Texas FFA President and AgTexas AgYouth scholarship recipient Cory Sinkule.
“We are very pleased to have created the AgYouth of the Month program because it brings positive attention to young people who are investing in our state and nation as well as their own futures,” McDonald said.
AgTexas created the program as the result of an internal brainstorming session about how to encourage and reward excellence in youth Ag achievement in high school.