Md. Grain Producers award $10,000 in college scholarships
CENTREVILLE — The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board is committed to recognizing college students for their academic and community achievements and interest in making a lasting impact to Maryland agriculture. Four students were each awarded a $2,500 scholarship at the Maryland Commodity Classic on July 27. Recipients are Andrew Bauer of Dayton, Jenell Eck of Henderson, Jamie Hetrick of Preston and Cody Morris of Parsonsburg.
“The students receiving scholarships are insightful to the issues we face as farmers and energized to make a difference,” said Jennie Schmidt, MGPUB president. “Agriculture is an exciting career choice and graduates are in demand for careers in food production, renewable energy and environmental stewardship.”
Andrew Bauer grew up on his family’s farm where they grow row crops and raise livestock. The son of Leslie and Ricky Bauer of Dayton, Andrew was always eager to tag along with his father during daily chores. A 2013 graduate of Glenelg High School, Andrew attends University of Maryland College Park, majoring in Agriculture Science and Technology, with the intent of returning to the family farm.
“Despite the incredible increase in yields in the past 50 years, there has also been an astonishing amount of issues that have arisen including climate change, grain prices, farm costs, regulations and land use,” Andrew commented. Availability of farmland, which could be addressed in part by zoning, and consumer acceptance of agriculture are two of the biggest issues he sees as affecting agriculture.
Pursuing a double major degree in Communications and Agriculture and Natural Resources from the University of Delaware, Jenell Eck said educating consumers is her main priority. The spectrum of consumer knowledge ranges in a variety of ways.
“We must not segregate ourselves by how much and what we produce,” Jenell said. “By being one large family, we can tell our story, we can reach out to the unreachable and educate them about the importance of the diversity of agriculture.”
Jenell said trust can be built with consumers by farmers being a positive image on social media and readily available to answer the unknown questions consumers have about farm practices. Her parents, Mark and Vicky Eck, raised Jenell on a grain and poultry farm in Ingleside, and she is a graduate of Queen Anne’s County High School.
A graduate of Colonel Richardson High School, Jamie Hetrick studies at West Virginia University, majoring in Agricultural and Extension Education, with an emphasis in Agricultural Technologies and a doubleminor in Horticulture and Agribusiness and Rural Development. Daughter of Victrie Carr and Carroll Hetrick of Preston, Jamie grew up on her grandparent’s and uncle’s grain farm. She wants to become a part of the Hetrick Farms Partnership after graduation.
“Overcoming the issue of providing for nine billion people by 2050 will require farmers and the society to stay educated and up-todate with the development of new technologies and maintain an open and innovative mind when it comes to adopting these practices which will help the industry successfully provide for the future,” said Jamie.
Cody Morris began helping at his grandfather’s and uncle’s farm at age 10, helping in the chicken house and cutting grass. Today he helps with planting and harvesting of corn and soybeans, and manages his own pumpkin patch. Cody is the son of Thomas and Lisa Morris of Parsonsburg.
“It is difficult for small scale farming operations to survive in the current day and age,” said Cody. “With new technology that is being produced each day, the family farm could become more efficient and yield better profits which could help them remain a part of the communities they are in.”
Cody is a recent graduate from Parkside High School and plans to major in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland College Park. His goal is to return to the family farm and pass it on to future generations in the family.
“We are proud to see these young people join the other 49 students who have been recipients of MGPUB scholarships to follow a career path in agriculture,” Schmidt said. “This program is a strong investment in our future to see farming successfully continue in our area.”
Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board President Jennie Schmidt, left, presents Jenell Eck with a $2,500 scholarship.
Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board President Jennie Schmidt, left, presents a $2,500 scholarship to Jamie Hetrick.