FFA and 4-H high school seniors in the Waxahachie area are completing their nomination applications for the 4th annual AgYouth of the Month scholarship program, which has already awarded over $50,000 in scholarships.

AgTexas Farm Credit Services established the program in 2015 as a way to call positive attention to the outstanding work that high school students are investing themselves in to benefit agriculture, their schools and their communities.

They look forward to joining this past spring’s honorees from the Waxahachie area, who were Ross Greiten of Midlothian FFA, Holley Mullins of Red Oak FFA, Cory Sinkule of Penelope FFA, Daylan Schulz of Abbott FFA, Montana Steele of Dawson FFA and Cate Harris of Blooming Grove FFA.

Of these, Montana Steele (Dawson FFA) and Cory Sinkule (Penelope) each received a $1,000 scholarship through a random drawing.

“The purpose of the AgYouth program is to recognize and support Ag youth while building relationships within the communities that we serve,” stated AgTexas Farm Credit CEO Tim McDonald. “These students represent some of the best and brightest minds of the next generation of agriculture in Texas and the United States. It’s our privilege to once again pay tribute to their achievements thus far and encourage them for the future.”

Students involved in both 4-H and FFA benefit from their organizations’ emphasis on leadership development and public speaking, both of which help these emerging leaders grow their confidence and presentation skills.

Through the AgYouth program, students submit their applications until Friday, Oct. 12. All senior students in good standing with their local FFA or 4-H program and high school, within counties in which AgTexas serves, are eligible for nomination by going online to www.agtexas.com/news/ag-youth

Parents, teachers or friends may also visit the website to nominate a high school senior involved with 4-H or FFA.

A total of 78 students will be selected as Ag Youths of the Month. Each honoree will receive a $100 Visa gift card, a certificate of achievement and will be featured in their local newspaper and on social media.

The highlight of the program is the spring banquet, which introduces the Ellis County area honorees to fellow students from the Central Texas region. Past keynote speakers at the banquet have included Hall of Fame Rodeo announcer and AgTexas spokesman, Bob Tallman, former Texas FFA Vice President John Smithwick and 2017 scholarship recipient Jacey Snapp.

According to McDonald, the 4-H and FFA programs help introduce many of their participants to agriculture, allowing students to learn and apply science and technology to make farming and ranching more productive and offer promising futures. Even those who do not pursue careers in agriculture will have discovered hands-on approaches and problem-solving skills that will serve them well in life.

“We are very pleased to have created the AgYouth of the Month program because it brings positive attention to young people who are investing in our state and nation as well as their own futures,” McDonald added. “AgTexas created the program as the result of an internal brainstorming session about how to encourage and reward excellence in youth ag achievement in high school.”