BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — For the last 15 years, the ‘We Believe in Growing’ scholarship has awarded $300,000 to help Central Valley students find their passion in agriculture.
The ag industry is growing, comprised of 26 industries related to crop and animal farming as well as food and beverage manufacturing.
“A lot of times you think engineering, welding, or mechanics, and you don’t think of agriculture,” said E.M. Tharp Marketing Manager Kerissa Chapman.
That’s why the Ag World Expo and E.M. Tharp are pushing for more students to apply for the scholarship.
“If they’ve never thought of agriculture before but looking into it, they might see there is an opportunity there,” Chapman said.
The scholarship is open to students within the Kern, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties. A $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to two students who attend a four-year university to major in an agricultural field.
Even though the scholarship will be awarded to students entering the ag industry, Chapman says it can be applied to a number of fields, including ag communications, marketing, business, engineering and more.
“You can almost go into any career in the Central Valley, and it’s going to have some involvement in agriculture,” Chapman said.
According to the EDD jobs within the ag industry represent more than three-fourths of the nearly 80,000 total job openings projected for the central valley from 2012 through 2022.
Over the last 15 years, the scholarship has helped 30 Central Valley students find their career paths in the industry. Chapman says this year, they’re hoping to spread the word and encourage more students throughout the Central Valley to apply.
“In the last 5 years, I know for sure we’ve had at least one if not two recipients from the Kern County area. We would like to see more students participate."
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is January 14, 2022.