Four college students from Carroll County earned $8,000 total in scholarship awards from the Maryland State Fair for their achievements in agriculture.
The Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society Inc. awarded about $33,000 in college scholarships in 2019, according to a Nov. 18 news release from the fair. Three of the four students who received the $2,000 F. Grove Miller Scholarship are from Carroll, while the sole winner of the $2,000 Marlin K. Hoff Scholarship was Union Bridge resident and Tarleton State University junior Autumn Lippy.
Lippy was selected for the scholarship based on her involvement with the dairy industry, academic performance, leadership qualities, future goals, and financial need, according to the release. She is a 2016 graduate of Francis Scott Key High School.
Mary Amoss, chairman of the scholarship committee, described the Hoff scholarship as geared toward students involved in the dairy industry while the Miller scholarship is for students involved in agriculture in general. Amoss said in an interview the scholarship committee received more applications than they had scholarships this year.
“They’re very well educated in the field of agriculture," Amoss said. “Each person has a quality that stands out.”
Applicants wrote essays about their experiences in agriculture, and judges also looked at the applicants’ school transcripts, test scores, and other academic achievements to decide who would receive scholarships, according to Amoss. The deadline for next year’s scholarships is June 1, 2020, Amoss said. Applications can be found on the Maryland State Fair website.
Lippy grew up in an agriculturally-minded family. Her grandparents owned a dairy farm next to her home and she spent nearly every day there, she said in an interview. Lippy helped her grandparents with their Jersey cattle and began showing them in competitions at age 8 when she joined 4-H. She also showed Nubian dairy goats.
“So I really did grow up in an ag background that kind of led me to then be a part of the state fair as I got a little older," Lippy said.
Lippy volunteered for many years at the state fair at the U-Learn Farm, where visitors learn about agriculture through hands-on experiences such as planting lettuce, making crafts, and exploring a greenhouse. When Lippy was the Maryland FFA State President from 2017 to 2018, she spent all 11 days of the fair at the U-Learn farm from open to close.
“It really just tries to teach everybody about different aspects in agriculture as a whole," Lippy said.
In 2015, Lippy competed in the Miss Maryland Agriculture contest and won first runner-up, which she said opened her eyes to other aspects of the fair.
“I got to really experience more of the fair than I ever did before being on the court with that contest," Lippy said.
Today, Lippy is a college student in Stephenville, Texas, majoring in agricultural services and development with a minor in animal science. She dreams of being a high school agriculture teacher.
Lippy just completed a year on the university’s dairy judging team, which traveled all over the country to compete against other colleges, she said. Lippy is also the current FFA president at Tarleton and is a member of two honor societies, she said.
Lippy plans to use the scholarship money to help pay for her education.
Union Bridge and Taneytown students earn scholarships
The F. Grove Miller Scholarship recipients wrote essays on the impact of their experiences at the state fair and how the scholarship would help them reach their career goals, the release reads. The scholarships go to youth who were active in the state fair and are enrolled in an accredited college/university or rising college freshman, according to the release. The 2019 winners are: Mark Andrew Chaney, of Union Bridge and Northern Oklahoma College; Matthew Thomas Chaney, of Union Bridge and South Dakota State University; Marissa Roberts, of Taneytown and Mount St. Mary’s University; and Lynne Thomas, of Fallston in Harford County and West Virginia University.
Roberts wrote in an email she has been a 4-H exhibitor at the Maryland State Fair for the last 10 years, showing foods, plants, flowers, crafts, canning, vegetables, photography, floral arrangements, as well as market goats and Guernsey dairy cattle. Like Lippy, Roberts has helped educate children at the U-Learn Farm. She also showed fair-goers how to hand-milk a cow with the Guernsey breeders, Roberts wrote. She said the scholarship money will go toward her tuition at the Mount, where she is a freshman. Roberts hopes to study sports management and business.
Attempts to reach the Chaneys were unsuccessful.
With the rise of social media and spread of misinformation, Lippy said she wants people to know that those who work in agriculture want to provide the best for consumers.
“They have a passion for what they’re doing and that means that they’re trying to make sure that the food that’s going on the table is to the highest quality and standard," Lippy said. "They want to feed and take care of everyone, really, ‘cause I think that’s something that we don’t realize is that they’re putting everything into this industry. And sometimes the return isn’t always great, but they keep doing it because they love it.”
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This story has been updated to reflect that the four students earned a total of $8,000 in scholarships. A previous version incorrectly states the total scholarship money.