Annual Scholarship BBQ
Since 2001, Imperial County Farm Bureau has distributed nearly $100,000 in scholarships to local students as they prepared for careers in the agriculture industry. These students represent a wide array of interests, from crop science to ag economics to veterinary science and ag marketing. Meet a few of these students below!
Imperial County Farm Bureau administers several scholarship programs. The Imperial County Farm Bureau Scholarship program is funded through our annual scholarship BBQ. In additon, we also administer several memorial scholarships funded through private donations.
Thanks to those who sponsored and attended the 61st Annual Farm Bureau Scholarship BBQ, we were able to raise enough to give nine Farm Bureau Scholarships to local students in 2014!
The 2015 Scholarship BBQ has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 24th from 5 - 7p at Ryerson Hall.
Tickets for this event will be $8 per person. Drive thru, take out, or dine in and enjoy live music, great friends, activities for the kids, raffles and fabulous old-fashioned ice cream! Proceeds from the event will go directly into scholarships for local students. Support the students of today to secure our industry for tomorrow.
"I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all those that supported me through scholarships. After you have received such a generous gift, it instills a passion and new appreciation for giving back to your community and others. Best of luck to all students pursuing their dreams and a thank you to all those that give to make those dreams a reality."
Kelly Bishop, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 2009 graduate,
Scholarship Recipient 2004-05 through 2008-09
Meet a few previous scholarship recipients below, and see how the Farm Bureau Scholarships have helped them reach their goals, thanks to all who support the Scholarship BBQ and donate to the Vern Highley, Matt LaBrucherie, Raul Rodriguezand Jack & Pauline McConnell Memorial Scholarship funds.
Debbie just graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in Entomology. But she's not finished with school yet. She is the first member of her family to earn a Bachelor's degree, and plans to continue her education when she enters graduate school this fall where she plans to eventually earn a Ph.D. in Entomology.
Debbie is putting herself through college with financial aid and scholarships, including the Imperial County Farm Bureau Scholarship in 2009, the Matt LaBrucherie Memorial Scholarship in 2010 & 2011, and the Jim Kuhn Memorial Farmer of the Year Scholarship, funded by Farm Credit Services Southwest, in 2012.
"The Farm Bureau Scholarships have provided much needed help in the area of school expenses such as books, meals and transportation. Ultimately, the scholarships have enabled me to continue pursuing a degree in entomology. It is so relieving for a student when all there is to worry about is passing the next test rather than worrying about how they might pay to continue their education."
We are honored to be able to help Debbie attain her goals. She is excited about continuing her education and about eventually achieving her goal as an entomologist.
"As the current generation of agriculturists reach the age of retirement, the knowledge and skill that they brought to their field of study will also be leaving with them. There will become a need for new and knowledgeable people to fill their place."
Kelly is a 2009 graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she majored in Agricultural Science, and minored in Ag Communications and Agribusiness. Kelly has worked as a Marketing Coordinator for San Miguel Produce, where she managed consumer outreach through public relations and online media, and is also operating Buds & Blooms by KMB Designs, where she is a floral designer and event coordinator.
Kelly put herself through college with grants, scholarships and earnings from jobs. She received Farm Bureau Scholarships throughout college from the 2004-05 year to the 2008-09 year.
"Scholarships allowed me to be active in clubs and groups and to focus on my schoolwork, with the stress of funds eased."
She was very much involved in campus life while at Cal Poly, holding leadership positions in the Alpha Zeta honors society, the college's Open House Committee, serving as Assistant Director to the State 4-H Conference, and much more. She was selected as a PMA Foundation for Industry Talent recipient, received the Soares Award for Outstanding Junior in the College of Agriculture, and received multiple Outstanding Senior Awards, including the Beck Award, which recognizes a senior with outstanding scholarship, leadership and character.
She hasn't slowed down since college, either, as she is active in the Ventura County Young Farmers & Ranchers, Ventura County Fair Agriculture Committee, the Fresh Produce and Floral Council, and was selected as one of two California representatives to Washington, DC for the 2010 National Ag Day.
For prospective students, she offers advice from her experiences:
"Take every opportunity that is given to you. Every experience builds upon itself to make you a better and more well rounded person. Don't be afraid to take that leap, you never know what experience or connection will help you now or come back to assist you later."
Cynthia graduated in June 2011 with a degree in Horticulture from Cal Poly Pomona. The Calexico High School alumnus moved back to Imperial Valley after graduation where she began working for Farm Bureau and has recently begun working for the Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner.
Cynthia is the first in her family to attend college and is extremely proud that two of her cousins are now following in her footsteps attending Cal Poly Pomona.
Throughout college, Cynthia has been very involved in campus life. She has actively participated in the Agronomy and Horticulture clubs, serving as an officer in both clubs every year except her first year at Cal Poly.
Farm Bureau Scholarships have helped Cynthia pay for her living expenses as well as school supplies and fees. She received the Matt LaBrucherie Memorial Scholarship in 2009 and 2010.
What would she say to a student who is considering a career in agriculture?
"Do it! It is such a rewarding job. Just tell me, who can live without ag?"
Cheyenne is a fourth-year student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, majoring in Agribusiness where she is participating in the Agri-Fair program working toward a career in the California fair industry.
At school Cheyenne keeps herself very involved in campus life as well as the community. She is interning at a marketing firm in San Luis Obispo, holding a part-time job at the Health Center, helps out with the rabbit project at a local 4-H club, and participates in the Cal Poly Collegiate Horse Judging Team where she competes all over the country. Last summer she kept busy with an internship in the Farm Bureau office as well as a few projects with our local County 4-H.
"College is very expensive, but it's worth it. The Farm Bureau Scholarships have allowed me to focus on the college experience, knowing that I won't be weighed down with loans the minute I graduate."