Farmers Federation awards scholarship to local student

Published 8:38 pm Thursday, September 18, 2014

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AUBURN, Ala., — Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance helped secure a bright future for agriculture and forestry Aug. 23 as 70 Auburn University students received scholarships from the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF).

Alfa and Federation President Jimmy Parnell congratulated the students for their academic achievements and challenged them to use their leadership skills to benefit the industry and their communities.

“This is an exciting day,” Parnell said. “I look at this as an investment in the future of Alabama, the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama agriculture. These students will be key players in our future.”

Among those recognized were 52 students who received $1,750 scholarships through a new program, whereby the Foundation provides $1,250 in matching funds for every county Federation that contributes $500 toward a scholarship.

Pike County junior Katelyn Johnson transferred to Auburn from Troy University this fall and is one of the first recipients of the new scholarship.

“I’ve grown up around agriculture and really love it, so I wanted to stay involved,” said Johnson, who is majoring in agricultural communications. “I’m so grateful for the scholarship. It’s going to help me get where I’m supposed to be. I really just want to be an advocate for agriculture.”

Pike County Farmers Federation President Steve Stroud attended the recognition luncheon, where Johnson and other recipients received certificates and Alfa Farmers backpacks.

“With agriculture the way it is today, and with the world population increasing daily, we need more kids involved in agriculture,” Stroud said. “These scholarships are just one of the avenues to attract those students.”

Federation Southeast Vice President George Jeffcoat of Houston County chairs the organization’s scholarship committee. He said the goal is to have at least one scholarship recipient from each of Alabama’s 67 counties.

“I’m excited to see this many young people planning on going into the agriculture field,” Jeffcoat said. “This program is a way we can help them continue their education.”