On May 13, 2017, the Monroe County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Committee had the honor of interviewing five future leaders who had applied for our scholarships, awarded each year to three deserving candidates with aspirations of a career related to the field of agriculture.
Applicants are not required to be members of Farm Bureau, though one of them (the Betty Bliss Scholarship) has traditionally been earmarked for children of member families. Recipients can use the awards to attend college, trade school, or apprenticeship programs.
Receiving the Betty Bliss Scholarship for 2017 was Dayton Darling of Maybee. It is named for long-time County Administrator Betty Bliss and has been presented every year since 1988.
Dayton is completing his first year at Michigan State University, where he studies agricultural industries and is a member of the Alpha Gammo Rho agricultural fraternity. The son of Doug and Helen Darling, he helps on his family’s sesquicentennial farm, is a member of the Southeast Michigan Tractor & Engine Association, and is an alumnus of the Monroe County 4-H Program, where he was active in the Dairy Board.
The Dale Lynn Mason Scholarship, which honors long-time secretary Dale Lynn Mason, who served the Bureau for over 28 years, was again presented to Tye Thompson of Maybee.
A graduate of Dundee High School, Tye is currently attending Michigan State University where he is working toward a degree in Horticulture Science. The son of Steve and Anne Thompson, Tye started a direct-marketing roadside stand, growing and selling many varieties of fresh produce in the Azalia area, and was active in the Dundee FFA program. This year, he expects to expand his operation by adding an additional sales outlet in Dundee.
Finally, this year’s Young Farmer Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Andrew Scholl of Dundee. The oldest scholarship given by the Bureau, it was renamed four years ago as a tribute to those Young Farmers whose lives were cut short before reaching their full potential.
Andrew is a 2017 graduate from Dundee High School, and will be attending Monroe County Community College to study Agricultural Business. The son of Tim and Karen Scholl, he plans to continue the family butcher shop after he completes his degree. He was active in Dundee’s FFA program, a member of National Honor Society, and helped Dundee claim their recent state wrestling title.
Each scholarship has a value of $750, and winners are eligible to compete in all years of their studies against new applicants, provided they continue their studies in an agriculture-related field. Other candidates vying for scholarships this year were Nathan Scholl of Dundee and Matthew LaVoy of Temperance. We wish everyone who competed for these awards the best of luck as they continue their studies. They are truly the future of agriculture in Monroe County!