KristiAnn Frank, a senior at Vernon-Verona Sherrill, has been named the 2018 Agricultural Youth Scholarship Winner from Oneida County by New York Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee.
Frank was also selected as the District 6 winner, allowing her to compete at the state level where she finished second. In total, she has received $1,400 that she can use toward her higher education.
“KristiAnn is a very active and well-rounded student managing a host of activities in school and on her family’s farm,” the committee said in an announcement. “Her lifelong love of agriculture stems from her close relationship with her grandfather. His passion, commitment, wisdom and strong work ethic all while overcoming obstacles, including his blindness, inspired her to be involved with agriculture. It also shaped her into the person she is today.”
After graduation, Frank plans to attend SUNY Cobleskill to pursue a degree in agricultural business with a minor in agricultural education, the announcement added.
Scholarship applicants were asked to discuss an issue facing agriculture in their county, and Frank chose the lack of knowledge about what agriculture is and the lack of opportunities for youth to gain an agricultural education.
She made the argument that as you look around Oneida County you can see how diverse and important family farms are, however there is not adequate access to curriculum that help produce our “future farmers, inventors or political leaders who would go on to improve our industry.”
Of the 15 school districts in Oneida County, Frank said that only five offer an agricultural course or have an FFA chapter. Frank credits her ability to be part of the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill FFA for providing her with life changing opportunities — opportunities that need to be more readily available.
“KristiAnn has built an impressive resume at a young age and is very deserving of this honor,” said Karen K. Lohr, Oneida County’s Promotion and Education Committee chair.
“She is knowledgeable, engaged and is very forward thinking, which are wonderful qualities of our future leaders,” Lohr added.