AFP panel selects five scholarship recipients

EASTON, Md. (May 10, 2016) — Five students studying for agriculture-related careers were selected to receive scholarships totaling $10,000 from American Farm Publications, publisher of The Delmarva Farmer and The New Jersey Farmer newspapers.
“It’s been very encouraging to read the applications of so many students who want to make an impact on their family farms and in advancing agriculture in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond,” said Sean Clougherty, AFP managing editor. “We wish them all the best in their agricultural pursuits.”
Students selected for the scholarships were Mikayla Ockels of Milton, Del., Sarah Baynard of Easton, Md., Andrew Bauer of Dayton, Md., Jeremy Posluszney of Cream Ridge, N.J., and William Sytsema of Wantage, N.J.
Following graduation from Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, Del., Ockels is planning to attend Colorado State University.
“My future goals have all pointed me towards working in an agriculture-related career. I currently run several small businesses, including raising and breeding goats, selling chicken eggs and producing honey from beehives,” Ockels wrote in the essay with her application. “The aspects of animal care, farming and small business ownership have all taught me how interested I am in being involved with these career paths in my future.”
Baynard is planning to attend Virginia Tech after graduating from Easton High School in Easton, Md., and major in biotechnology and biological systems engineering.
“I chose to pursue an agriculture career based on today’s society that currently obtains information from secondary sources, basing facts off data that hasn’t been tested yet,” she wrote in her application.
“I wish to test these hypothetical claims in hopes that society can make opinions based on true, present and accurate facts for the progression of sustainable agriculture.”
Bauer recently received a certificate from the University of Maryland’s Institute of Applied Agriculture and she is currently a student in the university’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources studying agricultural science and technology.
Growing up on a family farm in Howard County raising grain, hay, cattle and hogs, Bauer said he is weighing out going back to the farm or working in the industry another way.
“With the experience I have gained the past few years, I am also very interested in a career where I would be able to help other famers be more profitable and efficient,” Bauer wrote.
After graduating from Allentown High School in Allentown, N.J., Posluszny plans to attend Rutgers University to study biotechnology and public policy.
“While the spark for my appreciation for science and biological engineering came later on in my high school career, my aspirations carry me forward in the hope of developing a new era of food and drug security due to the innovation in such an important field,” he wrote in his application.
Sytsema grew up on his family’s dairy and crop farm, working with the animals for several years. With an interest in genetics and breeding, he began last year choosing cow matings and taking part in the artificial insemination process.
“This opened up a new window of opportunity for me and inspired me to work in agriculture some day,” he said. “I will be the first in my family to pursue a degree in agriculture and plan to use it to better our farm and my community.”
Funding for the scholarship program comes from the proceeds of AFP’s annual Ag Scholarship Golf Tournament.
The 2016 tournament is scheduled for July 1 at Heritage Shores Club in Bridgeville, Del.
For more information on the tournament, contact Tiffany Polly at 800-634-5021.