CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2021 CVCWA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Sharon Bell is a junior at California State University, Fresno studying Plant Science. Growing up in Yuba City, a small farming community in Northern California, she often went to work with her dad who is a chemical manufactures sales rep when he called on local growers and PCAs. This sparked her interest and passion for the field of agriculture and farming in California at a young age. She was also involved in 4-H and other local community service projects. Working the last two summers as a field scout for Wilbur Ellis confirmed her love for the industry and the people in it. Sharon is grateful for the support from Central Valley CWA as she pursues her degree, and she looks forward to getting more involved in the agricultural community in Fresno.
Danielle Hatfield grew up in Coarsegold, California. She is currently a senior at Yosemite High School. During her time in high school, she raised various species of livestock for county fairs such as hogs, goats and a dairy heifer. She also participated in ag sales and veterinary science competitions and was an FFA officer for two years. Currently she has two registered and three commercial boer goats. This fall, she plans on attending California State University, Fresno to major in Animal Science. Her future career goal is to become a large animal veterinarian.
Abby Kelley is a 10 year 4-H member from Sanger, California. Growing up she never saw herself working with livestock, but after getting a rabbit when she was in sixth grade, her love for animal science grew. She currently owns rabbits, poultry, and pygmy goats; however she loves working with all kinds of livestock. After getting her Associates Degree in Agricultural Plant Science at Reedley College during her high school years, she will be majoring in Animal Science Pre-Veterinary and Business Admin.-Entrepreneurship Option at Fresno State. Aside from her love of animals, she also has a passion for photography.. She currently owns her own small photography business called I'm Just a Cloud Photography. In addition, she has been in love with Archery since she was in the seventh grade. In college she will be working towards making the USA World Archery Team and become a professional archer. She hopes that after college and her professional archery days, that she will be a 4-H leader and a mother. Kids have a special place in her heart and she strives to teach kids about agriculture and how to be successful in life. In her last days, she wants to make sure that she can look back knowing that she has made a difference in someone's life.
Lilly Kier is a senior at Minarets High school. She has been involved in FFA for 4 years, and 4H for 9 years, holding leadership positions in both organizations. She has shown beef, horses, pigs, chickens, and goats at numerous fairs. She plans on attending either Cal Poly or Fresno State to obtain a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business. She thanks CVCWA very much for this scholarship opportunity.
Mario Lemus is a Senior and Plant Science major at California State University Fresno. Mario grew up in a low-income single-parent household, in the small farming community of Lindsay, CA. At 13, Mario took it upon himself to help support his mother and three younger siblings. He found work in farm labor, harvesting fruits and vegetables during weekends, holiday breaks, and summers. This was tough work, but it taught him to be independent, resilient, determined, and to value a strong work ethic. After graduating from high school, Mario enlisted in the United States Marines. He served two deployments overseas and was awarded a combat action ribbon and a Navy Unit Commendation award which is given only for extraordinary merit and achievement. Mario maintains a 4.0 GPA at Fresno State, and he was most recently admitted to the Jordan College Honors Program, a distinguished and competitive honors program in the college of agriculture at Fresno State. Mario’s goal is to be involved in research and to become a successful Agronomist.
Bianey Medina is currently a senior at California State University, Fresno studying Plant Science. Growing up in the Salinas Valley working in the fields with her parents picking strawberries is what sparked her interest in pursuing a degree in agriculture. After graduating she plans to obtain her PCA and CCA licenses. One of her dreams is to become a strawberry farmer by combining her education with her parents' experience. Being part of the California Women for Agriculture Central Valley Chapter has kept her involved and able to network with other professional women who are involved in other aspects of agriculture.
Lindsey Swall is a Sophomore and Agriculture Communications major at Fresno State. She grew up on her family’s walnut farm in Tulare, California and is excited about pursuing a career in agriculture. She began her studies at Fresno State in 2018, and following her Freshman year she took a gap year from college. During this time she served the California FFA Association as the 2019-2020 State Secretary. She traveled throughout California, learning about the diversity of California agriculture. Her teammates and she also taught high school students the importance of leadership and agriculture. After returning to school and finishing her second year of college virtually, she is looking forward to in person learning and furthering her involvement with the Agriculture Ambassadors Club, Fresno State Honors College and Delta Omega chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Alejandra Valdez is an upcoming senior at California State University, Fresno majoring in Plant Science - Crop Production Management. She has lived in the Central Valley her entire life and comes from a strong agricultural background. Her passion for agriculture began at a young age when she would go to work with her father during the alfalfa and cotton seasons. During her time in high school, she served as Vice President for her FFA chapter and will serve as the incoming President of the Fresno State Plant Science Club. She has competed in the national 2020 SASES Quiz Bowl contest which placed 1st in the nation. She has also been a guest speaker on forums regarding food insecurity during Fresno State's National Ag Week and the 39th Annual AgBusiness Conference. She plans to obtain her PCA and CCA licenses upon graduation and continue to bring awareness about food insecurity in our Central Valley community.
Jennifer Valdez will be a senior at California State University, Fresno majoring in Plant Science. She was raised in the Salinas Valley, where her entire life was always surrounded by agriculture. Her passion for the agriculture industry was sparked when she was an officer for the FFA organization. Watching her parents devote most of their lives harvesting food to feed communities around the world encouraged her to give back to the agriculture industry and her community. For consecutive seasons she endured one of the most challenging jobs in the workforce, which is being a field worker. While working in the fields she was able to encounter many problems that affected crops that are the primary source of food to many communities. Today, she assists graduate students and Fresno State professors with various research projects, trying to discover innovative solutions that will help reduce/avoid detrimental problems which affect our crops. After graduating, she plans to apply to the Master's program at Fresno State. She continually aspires to become a role model to all the women in her community who are afraid of pursuing a career/or currently pursuing a career in an industry that is dominated predominantly by men.
The first time Sarah Breanne Williams zipped up her blue FFA jacket at Liberty High School in the Madera Ranchos, she had no idea the influence it would have on her life or the path it would lead her. It led her to her true career passion, agriculture. Currently a high school senior, in the Fall, 2021, she will attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) beginning a double Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and International Trade and Development. Her future goal is to become an Agricultural Policy Lobbyist for the USDA, working to make sure government officials hear and understand the position of the agricultural industry. Sarah has been active in FFA serving as her chapter’s Vice President and President, shown award winning hogs at local fairs, received her California FFA State Degree, entered FFA Officer Opening/Closing Area Competitions, FFA Job Interview Area Competition, FFA Citrus Judging Team, FFA State Convention Chapter Delegate, and San Joaquin FFA Spring Regional Meeting Delegate, Sarah is truly thankful for the scholarship support of the Central Valley CWA.
Sydney Wyman would like to thank California Women for Agriculture for helping her pursue a career in agriculture. She will be attending University of Nevada Reno and majoring in Animal Science to pursue a career in animal nutrition. She has grown up around livestock and showing club lambs. As she got older, her family started to raise and breed our own club lambs that she would take to show any opportunity she was given. With a career in animal nutrition she looks to give back and enhance the livestock industry and those who show animals through nutrition.