05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 12:20
Two New York high school seniors have received the distinct honor of being named statewide recipients of the 2023 New York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship.
The students must have a family Farm Bureau membership or a student Farm Bureau membership to qualify for the scholarship program. A panel of judges organized by New York Farm Bureau's Promotion and Education Committee selected winners in 11 districts across the state based on their essay submissions, as well as their applications, which included community and agricultural engagement. District winners then competed for the two statewide scholarships.
The first-place state winner is Jacob Ziehm from Schaghticoke, NY. He is a member of the Washington County Farm Bureau in District 8 and received a $3,000 scholarship from New York Farm Bureau. Jacob attends Greenwich Central School District. He plans to attend Michigan State University to major in agri-business management with a goal of either becoming a partner at his family's farm or pursuing another career in agriculture. His family has a dairy farm where he works taking care of the animals and harvesting crops. Also, he sells pumpkins and other agricultural products at his family's farm store. He is an active member of the 4-H Dairy Club and volunteers at the 4-H milkshake booth during the county fair where he also shows cows. He has been active in school activities such as the National Honor Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society along with being captain of the Greenwich Varsity Basketball and Greenwich Varsity Lacrosse. He is also a Youth Coach and mentor for Greenwich Youth Basketball.
The second-place state winner is Holly Niefergold from Lawtons, NY where her family's farm is a member of the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau in District 1. Lauren received a $2,000 scholarship from New York Farm Bureau. She is a senior at North Collins Jr./Sr. High School. Holly plans to attend SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill to major in agriculture business management with a goal of starting her own agritourism business. She grew up on a dairy farm but also has work experience on a neighboring dairy farm and a dairy goat farm. Currently, she works for Milk for Health, Erie County Agricultural Society, and the Northeast AgriSolutions Force. She was crowned the Erie County Dairy Princess in 2020 and continues to be an active member in 4-H, FFA, and the Erie County Dairy Promotion Program. Her school activities include President of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Stage Crew Leader in Drama Club and Senior High Band. She is very active in her community, including volunteering at the Eden/North Collins Food Pantry.
District winners receive a cash award and a gift from the New York Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Program. The other district scholarship winners include:
District 2: Alyssa Healy is from Livonia, NY in Livingston County. She plans to attend SUNY Cobleskill to major in animal science.
District 3: Tyler Sheils is from King Ferry, NY in Cayuga County. He plans to attend SUNY Cobleskill and major in agricultural engineering.
District 4: Laura Mills is from Greenwood, NY in Steuben County. She plans to attend SUNY Alfred State College and major in agricultural technology.
District 5: Sophia Wilbur is from Fabius, NY in Onondaga County. She plans to attend Cornell University/SUNY Cobleskill and major in animal science.
District 6: Abbie Ainslie is from Clayville, NY in Oneida County. She plans to attend Cornell University and major in agricultural education.
District 7: Matthew Wilson is from Hammond, NY in St. Lawrence County. He plans to attend SUNY Morrisville and major in dairy management.
District 9: Simone Schuman is from Oneonta, NY in Otsego County. She plans to attend Canisius College and study criminal justice to become a State DEC Officer.
District 10: Lauryn Menz is from Red Hook, NY in Dutchess County. She plans to attend SUNY Cobleskill/ SUNY Morrisville/SUNY Delhi/Dutchess Community College and major in environmental science.
District 11: Mary Padavan is from Seaford, NY in Long Island. She plans to attend Delaware Valley University/Centenary University and major in equine business management.
"Congratulations to the students who received scholarships and recognition this year for their hard work. New York Farm Bureau believes in supporting the next generation who want to work in agriculture, either on or off the farm, to create a stronger agricultural community and food system for all," Said Bill Zalakar, New York Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Chair.
*Photos available upon request
New York Farm Bureau is the State's largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as "The Voice of New York Agriculture." New York Farm Bureau's mission is "Supporting today's agricultural needs and creating member opportunities for tomorrow through advocacy and education."