Thousands of students tour the grounds of International Agri-Center during the annual World Ag Expo, which wrapped up its 49th year Thursday.
Two in particular found the visit quite rewarding.
Seniors Madalyn Vieira of Tulare Western High School and Wade Sousa of Tulare Union High each won scholarships awarded by the expo and E.M. Tharp, Inc. The “We Believe in Growing” scholarship program, in its 10th year, supports local high school students who will be attending four-year universities to major in an agricultural field. This year’s winners each receive $2,500 scholarships to be renewed up to four years, totaling $10,000 per student.
Vieira plans to study Dairy Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has participated in numerous FFA activities, works in a retail creamery, is the reigning District 9 Tulare County Dairy Princess and will graduate at the top of her class as the 2016 valedictorian.
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“I want to make a mark for women in agriculture,” said Vieira. “I want to prove that we are talented, educated and brilliant in our respective areas.”
Sousa plans to study agriculture business and crop science at Colorado State University. He is a four-year FFA member, a five-year 4-H member, and works long hours on his family dairy farm and as a relief feeder at Casa Blanca Cattle Company.
“I have been actively engaged in the agriculture industry since day one,” said Sousa. “I look forward to the new experiences that college will give me and what the future of the dairy business has in store for me.”
To be considered for the scholarship, students from across the Valley submitted letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and must expect to graduate from high school during the 2015-2016 school year.