For immediate release: June 17, 2016
Montpelier – Five Vermont juniors and seniors recently received the Land Stewards Award from the Vermont Land Trust. This award, now in its eleventh year, acknowledges the hard work of tomorrow’s agricultural and forestry leaders with an unrestricted cash prize of $250.
The students who won the award demonstrated a deep commitment to the disciplines of forestry or agriculture. Their future paths all involve working with the land and its natural resources. The award honors hard work, initiative, and academic excellence in Vermont’s vocational agriculture and forestry programs, which are vital to Vermont’s future.
The five students chosen to receive the Land Steward Award were: Shawnna Vander Wey of Vergennes Union High School; Riley Brooks of North Country Career Center; Kaleigh Hamel of Randolph Technical Career Center; Adam Whitcomb of Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center; and Amanda Ferguson of River Valley Technical Center.
“Innovative, dedicated agricultural and forestry professionals care for our working landscape, shape Vermont communities, and are essential to the local economy,” said Gil Livingston, President of the Vermont Land Trust. “We are happy to honor these five students for the land stewardship they have demonstrated.”
All students are looking forward to the future. Shawnna plans to pursue a degree in animal science to become an animal nutritionist. Riley plans to study forestry with the goal of becoming a government forester; this summer he will attend a program at Paul Smith’s College. Kaleigh has started her own draft animal business and will expand the operation. Adam will continue to farm and would like to attend college for environmental engineering. Amanda is planning to attend Vermont Technical College for Equine Science, and will continue to work on her family’s farm.
The students received their awards in May and June of 2016.