Following is a guest post from Marisa Linton. Marisa grew up showing and raising livestock, and currently lives on her family’s small farm in Mount Olive. She has shown animals at the N.C. State Fair for the past 14 years and is a past youth livestock scholarship recipient. She is an N.C. State University graduate, agricultural photographer and blogger.
Youth who show livestock at the N.C. State Fair are a hardworking, responsible and dedicated group. They stay busy working with their animals and taking care of them. While these youth are focused on their livestock and showing, they are also focused on their future. For many, that future includes college.
College is expensive. The average yearly cost for a four-year in-state college is $9,410, and the more help a student, and their parents, can get, the better. This is where scholarships come to the rescue. Any youth who have shown livestock at the N.C. State Fair is eligible to apply for the N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Educational Scholarship.
This year, 28 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each were awarded. Recipients were selected based on their involvement with N.C. State Fair livestock shows, their academic achievement, an essay, and their overall resume. These youth were recently recognized at the Got to Be NC Festival.
Recipients and their families joined Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler on a tractor parade that wound its way through the festival. The day wasn’t just a time to be recognized, though. Recipients also got a chance to catch up with each other and enjoy the sights at the festival.
This scholarship is important to these youth on more than one level:
“It means a lot for the North Carolina State Fair to support me with this scholarship. It helps me a lot! I’ve shown livestock my whole life, so it really means something to me,” says Rowan County native Lauren Luther, a fifth-year agriculture science major at N.C. State University.
“This scholarship program is a great example of how supportive the agriculture industry is of its youth and young adults,” says Lenoir County native Mary Beth Tyndall, an upcoming freshman at N.C. State University who plans to study ag education. “To have received this scholarship is a huge blessing because it means that I will be better able to further my education. It is a tremendous honor to be recognized among so many great showmen and scholars.”
Whether a fifth-year student like Luther or a first-year student like Tyndall, this scholarship matters on a financial level and an emotional one. Showing livestock at the N.C. State Fair impacts these youth in a positive way. Tyndall added that showing at the fair has allowed her to grow closer to her family, develop a deeper appreciation for teamwork, and become a more responsible caretaker and person. “Although I have not had perfect attendance since first grade, which is when I started showing at the State Fair, I have learned more than enough lessons showing livestock to make up for my absences at school.”
These scholarships support and build youth for the future. Congratulations to all the N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Educational Scholarship recipients! Best of luck with summer internships, college and your livestock. We’ll see you at the fair!
2017 N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Educational Scholarship recipients: (by county)
• Tucker Worley, Leicester, North Carolina State University
• Ty Worley, Leicester, Haywood Community College
• Cooper McAuley, Concord, N.C. State University
• Madison Dyson, High Point, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• Abby Fulton, Lexington, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
• Tristen Fulton, Lexington, Iowa State University
• Kylie Ward, Lexington, University of Mount Olive
• Ashley Wollett, Red Oak, Nash Community College
• Joey Moore, Youngsville, N.C. State University
• Mason Blinson, Buies Creek, Oklahoma State University
• Caleb Henson, Canton, Haywood Community College
• Jesse Henson, Canton, Oklahoma State University
• Kelsey Bentley, Kenly, N.C. State University
• Cecilia Fricke, Middlesex, East Carolina University
• Macy Massengill, Princeton, N.C. State University
• Haley Stevens, Selma, Wilson Community College
• Mary Beth Tyndall, Deep Run, N.C. State University
• Bethany Mackey, Mars Hill, East Tennessee State University
• Evan Gunter, Asheboro, N.C. State University
• Lauren Luther, Mount Ulla, N.C. State University
• Megan Lawing, Bostic, Gardner-Webb University
• LeAnn Harward, Richfield, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• Rachel Brown, Walnut Cove, N.C. State University
• Brandon Hartman, Walnut Cove, N.C. State University
• Alec Linton, Mount Olive, Methodist University
• Liz-Anne Earle, Kenly, West Texas A&M University
• Christy Rucker, Hamptonville, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
• Leah Thomas, East Bend, Western Carolina University