Statenville student among 2 winners of ag scholarship

May 1—TIFTON — Two Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students recently received the 2023-2024 Southeast Tip Ag Recruits Scholarship (STARS), created by the Southeast Produce Council.

Statenville's Connie Lynn Rogers and Fort Meade, Fla.'s Katherine Stokes, both senior agricultural communications majors, were awarded the scholarships.

The STARS program is the Southeast Produce Council's scholarship program available to outstanding students majoring in agriculture. The mission of the STARS program is to identify the top agricultural majors at participating colleges and to recruit and introduce them to career opportunities in the produce industry.

Rogers is a member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Club, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, and a former member of Collegiate FFA. She completed an internship with the Georgia Peanut Commission and has been working with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Entomology Department. During this time, she worked on research with corn, squash, cabbage, and cotton.After growing up working solely with swine, she was able to expand her knowledge through these experiences, reinforcing her love of the agriculture industry and are leading her to the scholarship. Upon graduation, she plans to transition to a full-time agricultural communications role.

Stokes serves as the chair of merchandise and fundraising of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Club and is the social media manager for Shoot and Reel, a hunting and fishing apparel company. This summer, she will intern with Florida Classic Growers, an organization she was introduced to while attending the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure Conference.Growing up, Stokes showed livestock and was heavily involved with FFA and 4-H. Her grandparents owned a citrus nursery that was devastated by greening (when produce gets diseased and crops are decimated) so she is looking forward to the opportunity to advocate for Florida citrus growers this summer. Following graduation later this year, she also plans to transition to a full-time agricultural communications role. Each recipient received a $2,500 scholarship to provide financial support for the completion of an agricultural-based degree. The program also provided travel and lodging expenses for the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure Conference in Tampa, Fla.

Ideal candidates for the scholarship are rising seniors in undergraduate majors related to the growing and marketing of produce and related products who also hold a minimum 3.2 GPA. Additionally, it is preferred that students have demonstrated an interest in growing and/or marketing of produce.