Friends of Dixon May Fair awarded $12,500 in scholarships to these very deserving residents from Dixon, Vacaville and Rio Vista.
By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Seven Solano County residents majoring in agriculture received some financial relief as they headed for their college campuses this fall, thanks to a total of $12,500 awarded them in college scholarships from the Friends of the Dixon May Fair.
The seven include four from Dixon; two from Vacaville, and one from Rio Vista. Most are current or former members of the 4-H youth development program. Over the last 15 years, the Friends of the Dixon May Fair, headed by Donnie Huffman of Vacaville, has awarded a total of $154,500 in college scholarships to Solano students majoring in an agricultural-related field in a California university or community college.
Olivia Ramirez of Dixon, a 2015 graduate of Dixon High School headed for California State University, Chico, received the Ester Armstrong Memorial Scholarship of $3000. Her career goal is to become a veterinarian. The award memorializes fair industry veteran Ester Armstrong of Rockville, a former director of the California Division of Fairs and Expositions who served as interim chief executive officer of the Dixon May Fair from 2006-2009. She died in May 2009 of cancer.
Jordan Dosker of Vacaville, a third-year student at California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo, received $2000. A 2012 graduate of Vacaville High School, she plans to become a veterinarian. This is the third year she has received a Friends of the Dixon May Fair award.
Marla Kogler of Rio Vista, a third-year student at California State University, Chico, received a $2000 scholarship. A 2013 graduate of Rio Vista High School, she plans to become an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. This is the third year she has received a Friends’ scholarship.
Jillian Raycraft, of Dixon, a 2015 graduate of Dixon High School, received a $2000 scholarship. She will attend Cal Poly, majoring in ag business.
Lyle Glass of Vacaville, a 2015 graduate of Vacaville High School, received the $1500 Jack Hopkins Scholarship award, memorializing a longtime Dixon resident and supporter of the Dixon May Fair. Glass will attend Woodland Community College and plans to pursue a degree in agri-business management.
Kyle Garlick of Dixon, a second-year student at Butte Community College, received a $1000 award. A 2012 graduate of Dixon High School, he is pursuing a career in agribusiness management. This is the second year he has received a scholarship.
Nicole Talken of Dixon, a 2015 graduate of Dixon High School, received $2000. She is currently attending Sacramento City College with plans to transfer to UC Davis as a junior. She plans to become a veterinarian.
The Friends, an all-volunteer organization raises funds by selling beverages at the Dixon May Fair. They use the proceeds for building and grounds improvements on the fairgrounds, exhibitor and special event awards, and college scholarships.
Only Solano County residents planning a career in agriculture and accepted into a California college, are eligible to apply, said JoAnn Giannoni of Dixon, the scholarship chair. Applicants have graduated from a Solano County high school and must be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in either a four-year or two-year college. They must major in an agricultural-related field, which can encompass dozens of majors, including agricultural business, forestry, pomology, nematology, plant pathology, viticulture, wildlife and fisheries biology, and child, family and consumer science.
Recipients are selected on their personal, civic and academic experience, academic standing, personal commitment and goals, leadership potential, civic accomplishments, and agricultural interests. Desired but not mandatory is 4-H, FFA or Grange experience.
All applicants must submit a personal statement of no more than two typed pages, explaining “why they are pursuing their desired career and what they hope to accomplish,” Giannoni said. The rules are at http://www.friendsofthefair.org/. Applications must be postmarked by March 1.
The scholarship committee is comprised of Giannoni; Tootie Huffman, treasurer of the Friends; Vacaville veterinarian John Howard, who received his degree from UC Davis; and Kathy Keatley Garvey of Vacaville and Carrie Hamel of Dixon, both of UC Davis.