World Ag Expo® and E.M. Tharp, Inc. have teamed up again for the 12th annual “We Believe in Growing” scholarship, which supports local high school students who will be attending four-year universities to major in an agricultural field. This year’s winners, Jacquelyn Brooks of Tulare, CA and Alexis Cano of Bakersfield, CA, will each receive $2,500 scholarships to be renewed up to four years, totaling $10,000 per student.
“We are thrilled to join again with World Ag Expo® to support agricultural education,” said Casey Tharp, Vice President of E.M. Tharp, Inc. “There is so much ambition and talent within our younger generation. I am optimistic about the future of agriculture, because of students like Jacquelyn and Alexis.” The scholarship was established by E.M. Tharp in 2007, and has helped 22 students gain an education focused on agriculture.
Jacquelyn Brooks, a student at Visalia Technical Early College, plans to study Agriculture Biochemistry at Iowa State University in the fall. Her long-term is to become a GMO Engineer or a Dairy Nutritionist.
At nine, Brooks began participating in 4-H with a sheep project. While she has shown goats and hogs, sheep have been her specialty and where she has found the most success. In 2018, she was the Tulare County Fair Reserve Sheep Showman and raised the 2018 Tulare County Fair Champion Hampshire Lamb.
“When I was nine, my parents put me in the local 4-H club in our town. I didn’t realize the influence the livestock industry would make on me,” said Brooks. “My mom and dad, being my biggest supporters, pushed me as I started my way up from the bottom. I’m going on my tenth year showing at two county fairs, one state fair, three national livestock shows and five jackpot shows a year.”
Alexis Cano, a student at Bakersfield Christian High School, plans to double major in Ag Business and Pre-Law at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa in the fall. She plans to become an agricultural lawyer.
Cano was given her first show rabbit at age two by her mother. This gift started her on a path to raising and showing rabbits, goats, sheep, heifers and more livestock. She has been a member of 4-H for 13 years and has held officer positions within her club. Cano is an FFA member and was a top five Market Goat Class Winner and top five Market Goat Showmanship Winner at the American Royal.
“While attending Dordt, I aim to become an Agricultural Ambassador and help others both within the school and the community understand how agriculture is a fundamental part of society that everyone should appreciate and can become involved in,” stated Cano.
To be considered for the scholarship, students from across the Central Valley submitted letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and must expect to graduate from high school during the 2018-2019 school year. The winners were recognized at the World Ag Expo® Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
Source: International Agri-Center®