Scholarships Help Nine Students Pursue Chicken Careers

Nine students pursuing college and graduate studies connected to careers in Delmarva's chicken industry will receive scholarships through the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI) College Scholarship Program. Eight of the recipients will attend undergraduate colleges in the fall, and are receiving $2,000 scholarships; the ninth recipient, a graduate student, will be awarded a $4,000 scholarship. In total, DPI is awarding $20,000 in scholarships in 2018; last year, DPI awarded $16,000 in scholarship grants.

"DPI's college scholarship program aims to support the next generation of leaders in Delmarva's chicken industry," said Bill Satterfield, DPI's executive director. "We were impressed by the caliber of this year's applicants, and we're awarding more scholarships than we did last year to encourage young people to consider all the interesting and rewarding ways they can be a part of Delmarva's $3.4 billion chicken economy."

Altogether, this year's group of applicants attend or will matriculate in more than a dozen colleges and universities around the country. They are pursuing a wide range of majors, from business to engineering to agriculture.

The following students will receive scholarships:

Bridget Barrett of Lewes, Delaware

Bridget graduated from Sussex Technical High School and is attending West Virginia University. Barrett's studies are in the field of industrial engineering, and she said she hopes to return to Delmarva and work in processing plants, implementing ways to reduce waste, trim costs and improve worker safety.

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Christopher Clifton of Bridgeville, Delaware

Christopher will be transferring to Salisbury University later this summer. Clifton is preparing for a career in teaching English as a second language, and he said he hopes to teach people employed in the chicken industry, helping both English speakers and Spanish speakers communicate better, improving employee retention.

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Ryan Duncan of Berlin, Maryland

Ryan is a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School. After enrolling in a high school pre-engineering program, Duncan became interested in following a mechanical engineering track in college. He hopes to embark on a career applying engineering solutions to the chicken industry, including in delivering vaccines to chicks.

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Jenell Eck of Henderson, Maryland

Jenell plans to graduate from the University of Delaware with a double major in agricultural and natural resources and communications. Eck's family raises chickens in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, and she has already assumed the role of 'agvocate,' interning in agricultural marketing and serving as Miss Maryland Agriculture. She has also represented young farmers in the Queen Anne's County Farm Bureau.

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Sarah Howard of Galena, Maryland

Sarah is attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, seeking a degree in applied agricultural management. Howard grew up on a chicken farm, and after graduation, she hopes to work for an animal science firm, concentrating in marketing or management.

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Annette Kenney of Marion, Maryland

Annette is a graduate student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore pursuing a master's degree, concentrating on plant and soil science. Kenney's master's thesis explores whether fresh produce can be safely grown with poultry litter, or other animal manures, applied as a fertilizer source. Wherever her career takes her, she says, she will focus on food safety and education. As an undergraduate at UMES, Kenney worked with Somerset County chicken growers to implement environmentally responsible practices. As a graduate student, Kenney will receive a $4,000 scholarship from DPI.

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Maria Morelli of Delmar, Delaware

Maria will enroll at the University of Delaware, focused on a pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences major. She hopes to pursue a career in poultry science, helping the chicken industry find cures for poultry diseases that can threaten whole flocks and hurt chicken growers' livelihoods. Morelli is also involved in the national Future Farmers of America organization and convention.

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Cody Morris of Parsonsburg, Maryland

Cody attends the University of Maryland College Park and is pursuing a degree in agribusiness and agronomy. Like many scholarship applicants, Morris grew up on a chicken farm and help his family operate the farm from a young age. He hopes to use his college education to help chicken growers be more profitable, by streamlining maintenance tasks and monitoring their flocks' health.

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Katelyn Tworig of Magnolia, Delaware

Katelyn is graduating from Caesar Rodney High School and will enroll in the University of Delaware, pursuing a degree in pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences. Tworig hopes to go on to veterinary school and enter a career caring for chickens on Delmarva. She has volunteered at animal shelters and veterinary hospitals and has been involved with Future Farmers of America in high school.

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Since 1985, DPI has awarded more than $128,000 through its College Scholarship Program. The scholarships are funded by DPI's College Scholarship Golf Tournament, taking place this year on June 6 at Green Hill Country Club near Quantico, Md.

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