Students Will Innovate, Lead in Chicken Community

Nine students pursuing college and graduate studies connected to careers in Delmarva's chicken industry will receive $2,000 scholarships through the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI) College Scholarship Program. Eight of the recipients will attend undergraduate colleges in the fall; one graduate student was also awarded a scholarship.

"By supporting these students, DPI is investing in the next generation of leadership for our chicken community," said Holly Porter, DPI's executive director. "We encourage these young people to put their education and skills to use in Delmarva's $3.4 billion chicken economy when they graduate."

The following students will receive scholarships:

Peter Arnold of Chestertown, Maryland

Peter Arnold of Chestertown, Maryland, a senior at Queen Anne's County High School who will attend Virginia Tech in the fall. Arnold intends to be a certified crop advisor; as he put it in his application, "working with farmers to grow better corn and soybeans will help Delmarva's chicken industry by providing local, low-cost feed for our chicken producers."

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Bridget Barrett of Lewes, Delaware

Bridget Barrett of Lewes, Delaware, a past DPI scholarship recipient who is a sophomore at West Virginia University. Barrett is pursuing a degree in industrial engineering, and she hopes to apply her skills by helping Delmarva chicken processing plants improve major practices and communicate with a diverse workforce.

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Christopher Clifton of Bridgeville, Delaware

Christopher Clifton of Bridgeville, Delaware, another past recipient and a junior at Salisbury University. A Spanish major concentrating in secondary education, Clifton hopes to help close language barriers in the chicken industry, improving safety, productivity and labor relations.

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Annette Kenney of Marion, Maryland

Annette Kenney of Marion, Maryland, a graduate student pursuing her doctorate at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Her research explores the potential for fresh vegetable production with the application of animal manure, including chicken litter, and she's also exploring career opportunities in food safety. Kenney received a DPI scholarship in 2018 as well.

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Charles Laird of Crisfield, Maryland

Charles Laird of Crisfield, Maryland, a senior at Holly Grove Christian School who will attend Salisbury University this fall. Laird worked on his family's poultry farm as he grew up, and he hopes to be a teacher helping students prepare for careers in agriculture.

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Gabriella Morelli of Delmar, Delaware

Gabriella Morelli of Delmar, Delaware, a senior at Delmar High School who's bound for Louisiana State University. Morelli aims to major in architecture and envisions coming back to Delmarva after graduation to help develop natural disaster-resistant chicken houses at an affordable cost.

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Cody Morris of Parsonsburg, Maryland

Cody Morris of Parsonsburg, Maryland, a sophomore at the University of Maryland and a past recipient of a DPI scholarship. Morris is pursuing a degree in agronomy; he hopes to return to his family's chicken farm after college and use his education to make it more profitable while improving and automating maintenance routines.

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Cole Statler of Millsboro, Delaware

Cole Statler of Millsboro, Delaware, a senior at Sussex Central High School who's headed to the University of Delaware. A chicken grower's grandson, Statler aims to become an engineer equipped to improve the operation of processing plants, farm equipment and chicken houses.

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Leslie Webb of Greenwood, Delaware

Leslie Webb of Greenwood, Delaware, a Lake Forest High School senior bound for the University of Delaware. Webb's intended major is environmental engineering and she hopes to work on improving wastewater management in chicken processing plants or addressing air quality challenges in chicken houses. Webb has also been deeply involved in FFA and 4-H.

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Since 1985, DPI has awarded more than $144,000 through its College Scholarship Program. The scholarships are funded by DPI's College Scholarship Golf Tournament, taking place this year on June 5 at Green Hill Country Club near Quantico, Md.

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