Farmers Federation awards 10 scholarships to county students

Published 5:03 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Since 2000, the Butler County Chapter of the Alabama Farmers Federation has been awarding five area high school seniors with $1,000 scholarships to the colleges and universities of their choice each spring.

This year, the organization was able to double that number to 10 Butler County high school seniors.

“We were very excited this year that our organization told us we would be awarding $10,000 in scholarships, as opposed to only $5,000 in past years,” said Eric Cates Jr., chairman of the BCFF Scholarship Committee.

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Cates, along with committee members Suzie Snow, Willie Eugene Autrey, Oliver Brooks and Dwight Vickery studied scholarship applications and essays from applicants in the county’s high schools.

Applicants are also required to be the children or grandchildren of Farmers Federation members.

The following students were chosen for their academic excellence and active participation in school and community: Isabella Wesley, Fort Dale Academy, who plans to attend the University of Alabama; Dustin Till, FDA, Auburn; Elizabeth Hyatt, FDA, Troy; Sean McKeague, FDA, Auburn; Laura Jones, FDA, University of Alabama; Cooper Lewis, FDA, University of Alabama; Brittany Huckaba, FDA, Auburn; Melissa Butts, Butler County Magnet School (undecided); Shameka Jones, BCMS, University of Alabama in Birmingham and Casey Rogers.

Rogers, who graduated from FDA in 2009, is completing her freshman year at the University of Alabama.

“Casey applied last year and just missed being one of the finalists for a scholarship. Since she has done an outstanding job in her first year at Alabama and we expanded the number of scholarships this year, she is being awarded a scholarship for her sophomore year,” Cates explained.

The students were honored on Tuesday with a luncheon at Cambrian Ridge with members of the scholarship committee.

A group of farmers created the Alabama Farmers Federation in 1921 with the mission to promote the economic, social and educational interests of rural Alabamians. It is the only non-government business or organization with offices in all 67 Alabama counties and has a membership of 460,000 members statewide.

Since 1997, the Federation has partnered with ALFA in donating $19 million to education and charitable agencies, including the United Way and the American Red Cross. Together they also sponsor the ALFA Teacher of the Month Program along with the annual funding of college scholarships in each county. The BCFF Women’s Committee plays an active role in the community through participation in such programs as the local food bank and the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.