The Delaware Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and three county boards announce the 2023 scholarship awardees.
Various activities are held throughout the year to help raise funds for these scholarships. The Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee raises funds through its annual Strawberry Festival in May and the Antique Tractor Pull which is traditionally held on the last day of the Delaware State Fair. The Women’s Committee runs a food booth at the state fair, raising funds for its scholarships and other initiatives.
Students awarded scholarships are:
- Zane Adams, Sussex County Women’s Committee Scholarship. Mr. Adams, of Seaford, will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Sussex County Women’s Committee as he continues his studies at the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus where he studies environmental and soil sciences. Mr. Adams grew up on a family farm and graduated from Seaford Senior High School in 2021 where he was active in a variety of groups such as the National Honors Society, HOSA or the Future Health Professionals organization and varsity soccer. He was also active in the school’s FFA, eventually becoming the treasurer, and varsity baseball and football for which he became captain of both teams. Outside of school, Mr. Adams participated in the local 4-H club for more than 10 years, acting in treasurer, vice president and president roles, and county-level 4-H for which he acted as treasurer and earned the Hands Award which is given to one person annually for service. As a teenager and young adult, he worked at an ice cream shop and mini golf business, promoting to the title of manager by his graduating year. He also worked as a first mate on a fishing charter.
- Brayden Hearn, Women’s and Young Farmers & Ranchers Committees Scholarships. Mr. Hearn, of Laurel, will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the statewide Women’s Committee and $1,000 from the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee to benefit his plans of studying agribusiness at Delaware Valley University. He graduated from Laurel High School and was active on the wrestling and football teams, serving as a team captain for both. Mr. Hearn was also a member of the Independent Ordinance of Odd Fellows, National Junior Swine Association, Laurel Football Pop Warner and the school’s FFA chapter. Mr. Hearn was a member of the Holler N Hooves 4-H Club for seven years. As an FFA Chapter member, he served as treasurer and president and earned the prestigious Greenhand and State Degrees, among other accolades. The Hearn family operates Sandyloam Farm, a small family farm in Laurel they purchased in 2001, where they have horses, produce and livestock including pigs, sheep and goats. Mr. Hearn has also worked at Atlantic Well Drilling.
- Lauren Hudson, Sussex County Farm Bureau Scholarship. Ms. Hudson of Lincoln will receive a $500 scholarship from the Sussex County Farm Bureau. The 2022 Milford High School graduate currently attends the University of Delaware studying elementary education and music. In high school, she was active in the FFA, Educators Rising, National Honor Society and HOSA, the Future Health Professionals’ club. She is also actively involved with St. John’s the Apostle Catholic Church, Avenue United Methodist Church and the Milford Community Band. In her spare time, Ms. Hudson has volunteered at local schools and worked as a substitute teacher, honing in on her educational skills.
- Kaitlyn Johnson, Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and Sussex County Farm Bureau Scholarships. Ms. Johnson, of Selbyville, was presented with a $1,000 scholarship from the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and will receive a $500 scholarship from the Sussex County Farm Bureau as she heads to the University of Delaware to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. She graduated from Indian River High School in 2023. Ms. Johnson grew up on the family farm and was active in school. She was a member of the Math League, Leo Club, National Honor Society, Drama Club, Odyssey of the Mind, Talent Search Program with Delaware Tech and National Agri-Science Summit. She was the president of the Vex Robotics Club and earned various awards, delegate and awardee for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program (HOBY), president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, captain and Homecoming queen representative for the Color Guard, section leader and honors band member for the Concert and Jazz Bands, student coach and mentor for Vex IQ Robotics and delegate for the Rural Electric Washington Youth Tour based on Leadership and Community Service through Delaware Electric Cooperative. Ms. Johnson also spent many years as a 4-H club member and volunteer, affording her the chance to go to the national Congress and Conference events. Through 4-H, she earned many awards and was the Delaware 4-H Pollinator Ambassador. As a Girl Scout, Ms. Johnson earned her bronze and silver award, as well. Her work experience includes working on the family farm, Parson Farms and L&M Cleaning.
- Ruby Phillips, Sussex County Farm Bureau Scholarship. Ms. Phillips, of Georgetown, will receive a $500 scholarship from the Sussex County Farm Bureau to benefit her elementary education and Spanish studies at Butler University. Ms. Phillips graduated from Sussex Academy where she was in the school’s drama department, National Honor Society, choir and band. She took music lessons for 12 years, participated in her church youth group, volunteered as a Sunday School helper and teacher for three years, played the violin for the worship team and was awarded the Overall Spirit Award through the Distinguished Young Women Class of 2023. Ms. Phillips spent her youth on the family farm where she worked the produce stand for several summers.
- Laurel Clark, Kent County Women’s Committee Scholarship. Ms. Clark, of Smyrna, will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Kent County Women’s Committee for pre-veterinary studies at University of Delaware. Ms. Clark graduated from Middletown High School in 2023 where she was captain of the varsity field hockey and varsity soccer teams, animal science ambassador for the school’s animal science pathway and a member of the National Honor Society, Athletic Leadership Club, FFA and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Club. Ms. Clark was also a 13-year member of her local 4-H Club, acting as treasurer in 2019 and participated in travel soccer for several years. Along with working on nearby farms, Ms. Clark has experience working at Metro Seafood and Steak, and Augustine Inn.
- Vanessa Gaines, Hubert Cannon Memorial Scholarship from Kent County Farm Bureau. Ms. Gaines, of Camden, will receive the $1,000 Hubert Cannon Memorial Scholarship from Kent County Farm Bureau as she moves on to college. Ms. Gaines graduated from Caesar Rodney High School earlier this year and plans on attending State University of New York’s College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill to study canine training and management and equine assisted therapies. During high school, she earned a state degree while participating in the school’s FFA chapter. She was also a two-year captain for the cross-country team and spent one year as the captain for the softball team. She was also involved in the Math League, Chorale Choir, National Honor Society, 2023 club, Manship Chapel youth group, Manship Chapel adult choir and Westville 4-H Club where she acted as the secretary, vice president and president. She spent many years working for local farms or agricultural businesses, including EVO Family Farms and Haass’ Family Butcher Shop.
- Dathan Ivory, Roland Garrison Memorial Scholarship from Kent County Farm Bureau. Mr. Ivory, of Marydel, will receive the $1,000 Roland Garrison Memorial Scholarship from Kent County Farm Bureau as he moves on to study sports management and ag business at the University of Delaware. Mr. Ivory graduated from Caesar Rodney High School earlier this year where he was a member of the Blue & Gold Club, Sportsmanship Club and National Honor Society. He played on several sports teams and acted as captain, including the basketball, cross country and track teams. He was also involved with his church, Calvary United Methodist Church. He spent summers working at local farms including Fifer’s Orchard and Thomas Family Farm.
New Castle County
- Olivia Daniels, New Castle County Farm Bureau Scholarship. Ms. Daniels, of Galena, will receive a $500 scholarship from the New Castle County Farm Bureau as she studies Environmental Science at Bridgewater College. She graduated from Kent County High School in 2022 where she was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, Interact Club, Bridgewater College Women’s Lacrosse Team and Bridgewater College Flory Honors College. She was on the Women’s Varsity Soccer Team and acted as captain for 2021, the Women’s Varsity Lacrosse Team and acted as captain for 2022, and the school’s FFA for which she was the reporter and treasurer for one year each. Outside of school, Ms. Daniels was active in her local 4-H Club and her church’s youth group. She also worked at Hoober, Inc. and Daniels Family Farm.
- Emerson Hickey, New Castle County Farm Bureau Scholarship. Ms. Hickey of Middletown will receive a $500 scholarship from the New Castle County Farm Bureau as she heads to the University of Delaware to study marketing. She graduated from Middletown High School earlier this year where she was a member of the Best Buddies program and HOSA or future health professionals organization. She was on the cheer squad for which she was the JV captain for one year and awarded the outstanding leadership award. Ms. Hickey was also active in the school’s FFA chapter, acting as its reporter for a year and earning Greenhand and Chapter degrees. Ms. Hickey participated in 4-H, acting as the club president for two years, and was active in her church youth group. Over the last several years, Ms. Hickey has worked at Emerson Farms, Cowgirls Creamery, Chick-Fil-A and Ash & Gold Salon.
- Sydney Phipps, New Castle County Women’s Committee Scholarships. Ms. Phipps of Wilmington will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the New Castle County Women’s Committee for her veterinary and biomedical sciences studies at Pennsylvania State University. She graduated from The Charter School of Wilmington in 2023 and spent her youth working on the family farm. Through school, she actively volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House Club, Helping Paws Club, Red Cross Club, Bikes for Mozambique Club, Make-a-Wish Club and National Honor Society. She was also a ten-year member of New Castle County 4-H’s Sheep Club for which she was the president for five years.