DIXON – It pays to major in agriculture.
The Friends of the Dixon May Fair will award eight college scholarships this year, totaling $15,000, to Solano County residents enrolled in a California college or university majoring in an agriculture-related field. Applications must be posted by 5 p.m. on March 1.
Scholarships Chair Carrie Hamel of Dixon announced that the awards are the $3,000 Ester Armstrong Award and the $2,500 JoAn Giannoni Award, both in the four-year college category; and the $1,500 Jack Hopkins Scholarship to a student attending a two-year college. In addition, three $2,000 scholarships will be awarded in the four-year college category; and two $1000 scholarships in the two-year college category.
The all-volunteer organization, led by President Donnie Huffman of Vacaville, is the service and fundraising arm of the fair. Since 2003, the Friends have donated $222,250. The organization raises funds through the sale of beverages at the four-day fair and donates proceeds from exhibitor awards, building and grounds improvements, and college scholarships. Last year, however, coronavirus pandemic mandates canceled the Dixon May Fair.
Candidates are graded on personal, civic, and academic experience; academic level; personal commitment and established goals; Leadership potential; civic achievements; favorite field in agriculture fields, Hamel said. Most candidates have experience in 4-H, FFA or Barn, desired criteria not required.
Fields related to agriculture, Hamel said, include disciplines such as agricultural and resource economics, agricultural business, agronomy and range science, agricultural science, farming systems management , animal science, avian science, bioresources and agricultural engineering, plant protection science, dairy. sciences, entomology, earth sciences, environmental horticultural sciences, environmental design, environmental management and protection, landscape architecture, food science, environmental toxicology, forestry and natural resources, fruit science, soils and biogeochemistry, agricultural education and communication, home economics, environmental resource sciences, agro-food, pomology, animal sciences, vegetable crops, nematology, earth and soil sciences, plant pathology, food science and nutrition, wildlife and wildlife biology fisheries, horticulture and crop science, pest control, natural resource management, child, family and consumer science, viticulture and oenology, atmospheric science and hydrological science.
Last year’s top recipient was Cal Poly student Kyle Esquer of Dixon, who won the $3,000 Ester Armstrong Scholarship. Linzie Goodsell of Dixon, a student at Chico State University, won the $2,500 JoAn Giannoni Scholarship. At the community college level, Vacaville resident Jared Tanaka, enrolled at Modesto Junior College, won the $1,500 Jack Hopkins Scholarship. Other Friends of the Fair scholarship recipients last year were UC Davis student Maya Prunty de Vacaville, $2,000; and Modesto Junior College student Haylee Hoffmann of Dixon, $1,000.
The annual deadline to apply for the scholarships is March 1 at 5 p.m. Further information on scholarship application rules can be found on the Friends of the Fair Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsoftheDixonMayFair. Nominations should be on Friends of the Fair forms and include a personal essay and letters of support. They should be mailed to Friends of the Fair, PO Box 242, Dixon, CA.
The scholarship committee, chaired by Hamel, also includes Tootie Huffman, Kathy Keatley Garvey and Linda Molina from Vacaville, and Marty Scrivens from Dixon. Huffman is treasurer of the Friends of the Fair, all volunteers, and Scrivens, secretary.