Students receive AgFirst’s inaugural Native American and Latino scholarships
Four college students in the AgFirst District will benefit from a new scholarship program investing in Native American and Latino students as we seek to advance diversity within agriculture.
Last year, AgFirst partnered with the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) and Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS) to establish four scholarships serving Native American and Latino students in the farming and ranching communities. These scholarships are awarded to students studying in fields related to business or agriculture, with each recipient receiving $3,000 for the school year.
More than 60 students applied for these scholarships nationwide. Now meet the bright and talented recipients for the 2021-2022 school year. See how they embody AgFirst’s mission in supporting rural communities to impact more.
PEYTON MCMILLAN – NATIVE AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT – NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Peyton was raised in a farming community and is a vendor at several area farmers markets. She works with local youth programs during the summer providing tours on her family’s hydroponic farm, which produces nearly 2,000 heads of lettuce weekly. Peyton is an advocate for cleaner methods of food production. “Knowing that I planted, cultivated, raised and preserved a lot of the food I ate thrills me,” she said.
Peyton is aware that small family-owned farms are not without their financial hurdles. Supporting small farmers is one reason she’s pursuing a career as an agricultural engineer.
DALLANA CASTREJON – LATINO SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT –UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE
Dallana is a first-generation Mexican American student aspiring to achieve her dreams and to support rural communities. She is active in her community providing translation services to Latino families. Her mother and aunts work in the farming industry on products including tobacco, strawberries, blueberries and sweet potatoes. She’s involved in suckering the flowers on tobacco plants. This is a process of pruning out the unproductive leaves.
By working toward a degree in business administration, Dallana seeks to be better equipped in supporting rural communities with the business and technology services they need to succeed.
RACHEL HAGEN – LATINO SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT – NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Rachel seeks to make an impact on the agricultural community through scientific research. She’s working to be a veterinary pathologist in the hopes of improving animal medicine to lessen the burden many farmers go through to maintain their animals’ safety and happiness.
As president of the science club of the local community college, she proposes projects that preserve native flora and leads efforts within her community to appreciate nature. Her passion for plants and animals is evident in her service, and she currently works part-time as a vet assistant at the Hudson Animal Hospital.
JAELYN DOVE – NATIVE AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT – NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Jaelyn participates in discussions and research issues that affect Indigenous people through the Native Education Forum. She plans on pursuing a veterinary degree after graduating from North Carolina State University's Animal Science Program.
Supporting farmers in rural communities is her priority upon graduating from veterinary school. She’s learned that it’s often difficult to get a veterinarian out quickly for an emergency farm call. With that in mind, it’s her desire to make farmers a priority when it comes to their livelihood of raising cattle, pigs and horses.
AgFirst is proud to award scholarships to these outstanding students to support their aspirations in serving rural communities. The investment in this annual scholarship is a commitment to strengthening our alliance with Native American and Latino farmers and producers.