AGF Scholarship Program

Blake Ehler, age 17 from Tipton, Iowa was awarded a $1,000.00 Scholarship.  She is a recent graduate of Tipton High School. During her thirteen years at Tipton, she was involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, track, choir, 4H, FFA, and band. She started playing volleyball as a young child, and has played competitively for club teams throughout the United States. She played varsity volleyball all four years of high school and her team made history when they qualified for their school's first ever state volleyball tournament in 2017. They lost in the first round of the state tournament, but came back even stronger the next year and were the class 3A state volleyball runner-up.Blake has been in 4H since the fourth grade. Her entire family is heavily involved in the seedstock industry and she began exhibiting livestock at a very young age. They currently raise sheep, swine and cattle. She started by exhibiting sheep and cattle, and during her sophomore year of high school she added swine and immediately fell in love with showing pigs. This year she decided to try something a little new. Her uncle is one of the largest Independent Livestock Procurement Specialists in the United States, direct marketing nearly 1,000 head of goats per week. She bought a goat to show for her last year of 4H and purchased an excellent Boer wether named Willy. Blake says she's had a lot of fun with him and is excited to see how he does. She's never shown a goat except for the one time she helped a fellow 4Her show because she had two in one class.

Blake has been very fortunate and successful in the livestock industry with the help of her family. Her father is a Dairy Inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. He is commissioned by the FDA and USDA to inspect Grade B dairy farms, which includes milking goat producers. Currently his territory has 75 dairy goat farms with approximately 9,000 head of milking goats. Her mother is the Associate Director of Patient Financial Services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Blake is enrolled at Iowa State University and intends to pursue a degree in Animal Science with undetermined career plans. Blake chose to submit a project on Scrapie. View Blake's Project

Lauren Newman, age 20 from Fort Collins, Colorado, was awarded a $1,000.00 Scholarship. She credits a large group of people for the success she has had during the over ten years of being involved in the dairy goat industry. "The term 'it takes a village' is very true and I want to be sure to give back and contribute and promote the industry that has been so good to me," Lauren said. Her goal is to promote the industry by sharing her knowledge of dairy goats, and the American Dairy Goat Association with 4-H members and youth, both on a local and even a national level. She said she believes that they are the ones who will be important to continue legacies of dairy goats. Even though she has aged out of 4-H, she became a leader in order to volunteer at their fair’s show and participate in teaching clinics. Then at local shows by participating in showmanship she said that she can set an example for younger members to keep growing in the industry as well. "I just want to give back to the industry that made me who I am today," she said.Lauren's major is Food Science, and one of her goals is to help create more sustainable solutions to national and global hunger rates. She believes that especially on the global scale dairy goats can make a huge difference in food production because they are easier to manage, lower cost, and produce more offspring in their lifetime. All significant factors in raising livestock. She will use her education and experience in the dairy goat industry to promote the industry not only on the local/national level but on the global level as well. Lauren submitted a project on Q Fever. View Lauren's Project
Vincent Sanders, age 15 from Temple, Texas was awarded a $500.00 Scholarship. He goes by the name, "Vinny."
He is in the 10th grade at Tupelo High School in Tupelo, MS, but recently moved to Texas. He is in the honors program with a focus on STEM classes and activities.Vinny has been a 4-H member since he turned eight years old. He said he enjoys spending time with his goats and working on his Dairy Goat Project. 2019 has been his best year to date. His four does produced eight female offspring, and he said he cannot wait to take them into the show ring. Although he loves showing goats and playing with the babies, he truly enjoy competing in other related projects as well. At the state level competition he has won first place in Electrical Engineering and Veterinary Science. His Veterinary Science Visual Presentation topics have included Scrapie, Johnes, Brucellosis and Q fever. He plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and study psychology. Vinny chose to do a project on Q Fever. View Vinny's Project

View the Script for Vinny's Project

Jonah Holland, age 20 from Belmont, Mississippi was awarded a $1,000.00 Scholarship. He recently completed his Freshman year at Mississippi State University within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His major is Agricultural Communications-Education and he has a Student Worker position in the Agricultural Communications department as an assistant photographer.He was home schooled and raised on an artisan goat dairy. Jonah says that 4-H was his most meaningful youth activity and allowed him to develop leadership skills. He was elected as an officer locally, and on a county level as well as a state level. He served as a county and state 4-H ambassador for four years as well as a state shooting sports ambassador for three. His involvement earned many national trips including four trips to Washington, D.C., the National 4-H Dairy Conference and the World Dairy Expo. He was chosen to work with the planning committee for the National 4-H Dairy Conference, and was awarded the Congressional Award Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.

Jonah credits his small herd of dairy goats for teaching him life skills and lessons. He began showing them when he was five years old. He worked to build a herd that he could be proud of and was awarded by winning many ribbons, rosettes, banners and top honors. While in college, he has been working with other youth and their dairy goat projects. He has also taken over the marketing and social media for the family dairy and soap company. Jonah submitted a project on Scrapie. View Jonah's Project

Monica Reed, age 17 from Carthage, New York was awarded a $1,000.00 Scholarship. Monica has been home schooled her whole life and will graduate this year. She will attend a local community college this fall before transferring to get a degree in Agricultural Sciences. She said that she is particularly interested in dairy farm management and implementing new technology onto farms to improve efficiency and promote a healthier cow. Her interest in agriculture started when she began showing chickens through 4-H in 2014. Two years later, her family bought 2 Nigerian Dwarf doelings. Since then she have taken on the role of being the primary caretaker for the herd and learned how to do many duties including vaccinating, drawing blood, milking, clipping, hoof trimming, disbudding and assisting in difficult births.Monica has taken advantage of all positive opportunities to increase her knowledge about dairy goats including attending a Famacha course, ADGA Judges Pre-TC and competing in several goat-related competitions at the New York State Fair. She attended several shows and last summer she was the first person from her county to exhibit dairy goats at the State Fair. After her does freshened last spring, she spent many hours learning to make different cheeses, ice cream and using it to cook. She has become very interested in dairy processing and hopes to one day make and sell her own products. In the future she plans to continue to breed, raise and show dairy goats, and eventually obtain a judges license. Monica submitted a project on Scrapie. View Monica's Project

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