HUDSON, N.Y. — Four residents of Columbia and Greene counties have been selected as recipients of the Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship Trust Awards presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties. They will each have a share of the available $7,500 for awards. They were chosen on the merit of their applications which described the breadth of their involvement in work, community programs, volunteer activities and awards. They also provided a personal essay describing their plans for the future and the experiences that influenced their decision to pursue a career in the field of horticulture, agriculture, forestry or natural resources.
Katelyn Barnes graduated from Ichabod Crane High School and just completed her freshman year as a student at the University of New Hampshire where she is studying animal science, dairy management. Her goal is to become an animal nutritionist so she can support farmers in keeping their herd healthy and increase milk production through optimal nutrition. She is receiving a $2,250 scholarship award. Although Katelyn has never lived on a farm she says that her interest in the dairy industry began when she joined the Udderly Impossibles 4-H Club at the age of nine. From getting to know and showing her first heifer, Jingle to becoming the Columbia County Dairy Princess, Katelyn has grown to love the dairy industry.
Melina Jeune, a graduating senior from Hudson High School, will be attending SUNY Broome this fall as an ecology major. She is receiving a $1,500 scholarship award. Throughout her life Melina has had opportunities to learn about and connect to nature, which she calls her “happy place”. She learned about gardening and nature when attending her afterschool 4-H club in elementary school. As she entered high school she became involved with Kite’s Nest and their Freedom Garden where she helped to maintain the garden and run the compost system. To cap off her garden and farming experiences she is currently completing an internship at Hawthorne Valley Farm where she is working alongside the dairy farmers and learning more about caring for farm animals.
Valerie Lewis graduated from Greenville High School and has just completed her freshman year at Cornell University, majoring in agriculture science. She will continue her education this fall at SUNY Cobleskill, majoring in agriculture and animal science with a goal of becoming an agriculture educator. She is receiving a $2,250 scholarship award. For Valerie, agriculture has always been a part of her life – with her dad a dairy farmer and her mom an agriculture teacher. Valerie has shown her animals at the local fair and has been an FFA member for six years – culminating as NYFFA State Secretary in 2019-20.
Noshin Tasnim, a graduating senior from Hudson High School, will be attending Hamilton College, majoring in environmental sciences. She is receiving a $1,500 scholarship award. Noshin’s interest in our natural world began at the age of four when she began to tag along with her mother to their local community garden each day. Her mother is the ultimate reason Noshin is passionate about the environment and its well-being. She taught her that learning how to grow your own food, along with taking care of your plants, is an important part of life. It teaches you how to survive and how to nourish the planet. Noshin’s ultimate goal is to develop a technology that will help combat and reverse our biggest threat, global warming.
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–Linda Tripp, 4-H Issue Leader
Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia and Greene Counties
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