Targeting Excellence gives scholarships
Pennsylvania recipients of $42,000 in scholarships announced recently
HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Pennsylvania gears up to host its second Targeting Excellence Clay Sporting Event, the Pennsylvania recipients of $42,000 in scholarships were announced prior to the start of the 2015/2016 Fall semester. The money was raised in 2014.
The scholarship recipients from Pennsylvania were Denise Beam, Ames, Iowa; Josh Beam, Elverson, Pa.; Joy Beam, Elverson, Pa.; Joshua Cassar, Lansdale, Pa.; Kara Dunmire, Monongahela, Pa.; Mikayla Fulper, Lambertville, N.J.; Chad Hamilton, Hagerstown, Md.; Brooke Kitting, McAlisterville, Pa.; Amy Kraus, Aliquippa, Pa.; Jaylene Lesher, Bernville, Pa.; Amanda Logan, Philadelphia; Alane Neal, Canton, Pa.; Elizabeth Palmer, Bernville, Pa.; Sara Roundtree, Stockton, N.J.; Brandon Smale, Palmerton, Pa.; Stephen Smith, Hawley, Pa.; Kyle Sollenberger, Spring City, Pa.; Jordan Sommer, New Park, Pa.; Charles “Luke” Trice, West Grove, Pa.; Justin Welk, Strasburg, Pa.; and Macie Whitsel, Cassville, Pa.
Eighteen of these students are undergraduates, and two are graduate students. Seventeen attend Penn State; three attend Delaware Valley. Denise Bream, a Pa. resident, is a graduate student studying swine genetics at Iowa State University and was awarded funds raised in the Iowa event.
Students enrolled in four-year, two-year and graduate programs were among the recipients; all have goals to work in food animal agriculture. Nationally, 45 students received scholarships totaling over $90,000.
The 2015 Pennsylvania event is scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Blue Ridge Sportsman Club, 1176 N. Fairville Avenue, Harrisburg, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To become a sponsor or participant, visit Targetingexcellence.org or call Gregg Bard at 717-451-5844.
Targeting Excellence unites agribusinesses, production systems, and institutions of higher education in a common cause — to ensure the world’s food supply by supporting students in animal agriculture through scholarships. A unique aspect of the program is to create an environment where students can learn more about career opportunities in food animal production through spending face-to-face time with leaders of the agriculture industry as they participate in clay sport and other events.
“Our students are fortunate and thankful to meet professionals from food animal production companies and supporting industries. The industries benefit from meeting future employees and leaders. Everybody wins!” said Bob Mikesell, Undergraduate Coordinator of Penn State’s Animal Science Department.
The following corporate sponsors contributed at least $2,500 to the 2014 Pennsylvania event to support the mission of Targeting Excellence: AB Vista, Alltech Animal Nutrition & Health, Clemens Food Group, CSD (Colorado Swine Data), Elanco, Hubbard Feeds, Murphy Brown, Novartis, Novus, Phibro Animal Health, Pennsylvania Livestock Association, Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council, Plainville Farms and White Oak Mills.
The need to support students in agriculture careers is great. A 2010 Ag Careers study reported that in the next 15 to 20 years, 77 million baby-boomers will retire with only 44 million generation-Xers to backfill their jobs. Many of the retiring baby-boomers are the builders and leaders of agriculture and, in particular, food animal production as we know it today. To ensure there is not a shortfall of qualified students, the leaders of Targeting Excellence are being pro-active and “Focused on Feeding the Future.”
David Funderburke, president of Targeting Excellence said, “Targeting Excellence is not just another ag student scholarship organization. While the scholarships are an integral part of the organization, we also feel that the events are just as important so students are allowed to build personal relationships, exchange ideas, and improve communications with business leaders.”
The program began in North Carolina and is now active in Minnesota, Iowa and Pennsylvania. The goal for 2016 is to raise $125,000.
Targeting Excellence was incorporated in the state of North Carolina, received a 501(c) (3) status in March 2013 and is recognized by the IRS as a Public Charity. The mission of Targeting Excellence is to sponsor events that bring together professional leaders of agricultural businesses, production systems, and institutions of higher education — with students — for the purpose of building personal relationships, exchanging ideas, and improving communications, while raising funds for scholarships.