California Citrus Mutual (CCM) is offering agricultural scholarships to high school and college students looking to pursue careers in the industry. Over the last 25 years of scholarship opportunities offered through the CCM Scholarship Foundation, a total of $80,000 has been given to 59 students. CCM President and CEO, Casey Creamer said that supporting the next generation of agriculturalists is crucial for overall industry longevity. Having an educated workforce will become even more vital moving forward as agricultural technology continues to advance and become more sophisticated.
“It’s the biggest thing we can do, not just California Citrus Mutual, but the entire citrus industry, the entire agriculture industry. Having the people to carry on these traditions into the next generation and provide the ladders of opportunity are just absolutely critical,” said Creamer. “Farming is a tough business and really the skills and expertise needed now and in future generations are only growing and getting more difficult to find. So, when you have opportunities to invest in the future, it’s absolutely critical for the success of the industry moving forward.”
Agricultural scholarships are available for qualified high school seniors looking to continue their education in an agriculture-related field. There are multiple opportunities available for current college students. The Charles Coggins College Scholarship is named after the UC Riverside plant physiologist whose research played a critical role in the citrus industry. CCM’s Harrison B. Smith Memorial Scholarship for Cal Poly Students is also available for college students currently enrolled at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Each of the scholarships has individual application forms and certain eligibility requirements that include an association with CCM.
“It’s family members, its employees, and their children. It’s all of the above. Anybody in the operations of citrus growing is part of the scholarship opportunity,” Creamer explained. “They can apply at California Citrus Mutual’s website. The deadline for applications is June 30 for this year.”
Listen to the interview below.