Eight students pursuing college and graduate studies connected to careers in Delmarva's chicken industry will receive $2,000 scholarships through the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI) College Scholarship Program. Seven of the recipients will attend undergraduate colleges in the fall, and one graduate student was awarded a scholarship. DPI has now awarded more than $150,000 through its College Scholarship Program, which began in 1985.
"By supporting these students, DPI is investing in the next generation of leadership for our chicken community," said Holly Porter, DPI's executive director. "Through these scholarship awards, we encourage these young people to put their education and skills to use in Delmarva's $3.5 billion chicken economy. Their wide range of skills - from finance to veterinary care to engineering to agribusiness -- will carry forward a critical part of Delmarva's economy and culture."
The following students will receive scholarships:
Maci Carter, a graduate of Lake Forest High School in Felton, Del. who will attend the University of Delaware. Carter plans to pursue a career in agricultural education and hopes to one day serve as advisor to a Future Farmers of America chapter - she's currently serving as the Delaware FFA State Treasurer.
Abigail West, who graduated from Indian River High School in Dagsboro, Del. and will begin studies at West Virginia University in the fall. West grew up on a poultry farm that dates to the 1940s, and after college, she intends to pursue work in the agriculture industry with a focus on finance.
Autumn Legar, a Smyrna High School graduate about to enroll in the University of Delaware. Legar has cared for a backyard flock of chickens and been deeply involved in her school's FFA chapter; she hopes to become a veterinarian caring for both companion animals and livestock on farms.
Madison Birckett, a Berlin, Md. graduate of Stephen Decatur High School. A top-ranked student in her class, Birckett will attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and hopes to use a degree in finance to help businesses make sound investments that also advance environmental sustainability.
Jordan Wilmer, of Centreville, Md., who is enrolled in Penn State World Campus concentrating on an agribusiness major. Wilmer is already working in Delmarva's chicken community, helping a farmer manage four chicken houses and plant and harvest field crops.
Cody Morris, of Parsonsburg, Md., a prior DPI College Scholarship recipient attending the University of Maryland for an intended agronomy degree. Morris first worked on his family's chicken farm at 10 years old, and he hopes to make the farm more efficient upon graduation in 2021.
Cole Statler, of Millsboro, Del., a rising second-year student at the University of Delaware. Statler's summer jobs for years involved helping his grandfather manage a chicken farm, and as an aspiring engineer, he hopes to join the chicken industry to improve processing plant infrastructure.
Wendy Davis, of Milford, Del., a graduate student enrolled in Colorado State University and pursuing a master's degree in agricultural science. Davis is a food products inspector for the Delaware Department of Agriculture who hopes to add to the chicken industry's sustainable practices.
Photos of the scholarship recipients are available for downloading here.
Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. is the Delmarva chicken industry's voice as the premier membership association focusing on advocacy, education and member relations. For more information, visit dpichicken.org; like DPI on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter and YouTube.