By: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The Friends of the Dixon May Fair will award a total of $12,500 in college scholarships to seven Solano County students enrolled in a California college and majoring in agriculture or an agricultural-related field.
The deadline to apply for the scholarships is 5 p.m., March 1.
The Friends will award four scholarships for those enrolled in a four-year college, and three scholarships for those enrolled in a two-year college. Over the last 11 years, they’ve awarded more than $100,000 in college scholarships to Solano County students pursuing an agricultural-related career.
The top student in the four-year college category will receive the $3000 Ester Armstrong Memorial Scholarship, memorializing the former Dixon May Fair chief executive officer. Three other scholarships, at $2000 each, will be given in the four-year college category. For two-year college students, the awards are: the Jack Hopkins Memorial Scholarship of $1500; and two scholarships at $1,000 each.
The Friends of the Fair, an all-volunteer group headed by Donnie Huffman of Vacaville, is the fundraising arm of the Dixon May Fair and raises funds through the sale of beverages.
Only Solano County residents planning a career in agriculture of an agricultural-related field are eligible to apply, said JoAnn Giannoni of Dixon, the scholarship chair. They must be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a four-year accredited college or university or an accredited community college located in California. Applicants must be majoring in an agricultural-related field, which can encompass dozens of majors, including agricultural business, forestry, pomology, nematology, plant pathology, viticulture, wildlife and fisheries biology, and child, family and consumer science.
Giannoni said the recipients are selected on their personal, civic and academic experience, academic standing, personal commitment and goals, leadership potential, civic accomplishments, and agricultural interests. Desired but not mandatory is 4-H, FFA or Grange experience.
Each applicant must submit a personal statement of no more than two typed pages, double-spaced, explaining "why you are pursuing your desired career and what you hope to accomplish," Giannoni said.
Applicants must have a minimum grade point average or 2.0 or be a student in good standing. They are to include a copy of their transcript (accumulative and current), along with two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a professional educator.
Last year Jordan Dosker of Vacaville, an animal science major at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, received the Esther Armstrong Memorial Award Scholarship. Kyle Garlick of Dixon, an ag business major at Butte College, won the $1,500 Jack Hopkins Memorial Award.
Others receiving scholarships in the four-year college category were Stephanie Calestini, a 2011 Dixon High School graduate majoring in agriculture at Cal Poly; Emily Lamb, a 2013 Armijo High School graduate studying animal nutrition at Cal Poly; Maria Kogler, a 2013 graduate of Rio Vista High School who will be attending California State University Chico. Each received $2000.
In the two-year community college category, two young women each received $1000: Danielle McCants, a graduate of Vacaville High School who is studying equine dentistry and animal science at Sacramento City College; and Kaycie Shea Reeb, a 2013 graduate of Dixon High School who will be attending Solano Community College and then transferring to Sacramento State College. McCants and Reeb received $1000.
Each packet must include one set of originals and one set of copies of each of the required forms. Only official Friends of the Fair application forms will be accepted, Giannoni said, and only complete packets will be considered.
Continuing scholarship winners can re-apply up to four times. Other eligibility criteria is on the Friends’ website at http://www.friendsofthefair.org/scholarship.php. Completed application packets must be postmarked no later than 5 p.m. on March 1, and mailed to the Scholarship Committee, Friends of the Fair Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 242, Dixon, CA 95620.
All scholarship checks will be paid directly to the recipient upon receipt of proof of enrollment, Gianonni said. All monies may be used only for tuition, fees, books, materials and supplies, housing and meals purchased on campus.
Recipients will be notified by mail after April 15 and will be announced at the Dixon May Fair.
For further information, write to the Friends of the Fair, P.O. Box 242, Dixon, CA 95620, visit the Friends of the Fair Web site, , or call JoAn Giannoni (707) 678-5618 or Claudia Huffman (707) 448-0130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: Kyle Garlick (left) of Dixon received the $1500 Jack Hopkins Award from the Friends of the Dixon May Fair last year and is eligible to compete again. With him are Donnie Huffman (center) of Vacaville, president of the Friends, and JoAn Giannoni of Dixon, scholarship chair and secretary of the Friends. )