North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents

2017 North Carolina Association of County Agricultural 
Agents Association (NCACAA) Youth Scholarship Award Winners

The North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents Association proudly announces Elizabeth Earle, Benjamin Rogers, Christy Rucker, and Julia Skelton as the 2017 youth scholarship award winners.  The scholarship award is being presented to 4 most deserving students who have exhibited excellence in leadership and community service.  North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents established this $1000 scholarship to four member or life members’ children or grandchildren to aid them with tuition at any University of their choice.  

Elizabeth Earle is the daughter of Walter and Lisa Earle from Wilson County.  Elizabeth is studying Ag Media and Communications at West Texas A&M University.  Elizabeth said she has always loved agriculture and how it has impacted her life.  She wants to work in a career that promotes animal agriculture because it has put food on the table, helped pay for college courses, and allowed her family to become very close.  She feels obligated to give back to an industry that has given her so much.  When asked how her Extension Agent father, Walter Earle has impacted her life, she says, “My Dad has taught me to lead by example.  He shows me through his actions how to lead an honest life.  He has always been there for me and because of him, I know I can do anything I set my mind to and I can be anything I want to be”

Benjamin Rogers is the son of Lenny Rogers from Alexander County.  Benjamin is studying Criminal Justice at Appalachian State University.  Benjamin hopes to positively impact our country by deterring and stopping crime by working for a federal agency.  He believes that his passion to help others stemmed from his involvement in 4-H.  He learned that he likes to work with and protect people and work in teams.  When asked how his Extension Agent father, Lenny Rogers has impacted his life, he says, “my Dad’s career with Cooperative Extension has allowed me to become involved in 4-H.  I met new friends and got involved in the community and experienced things I never would have had the opportunity to otherwise.  I have traveled throughout the state and country competing in the Wildlife Habitat program.  My father taught me to identify plants and animals and how to preserve them.  The National Association of Country Agricultural Agents meetings have allowed me to see states and landmarks across the country at a young age.  Benjamin is very thankful for his Dad and the opportunities that the Association has given to his Dad and their family.”

Christy Rucker is the daughter of Phil and Jennie Rucker from Yadkin County.  Christy will be studying Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington in the fall. Christy has always had a deep love for books and because of this has developed a passion for words, writing, and teaching.  She would like to be an English teacher and novelist.  When asked how her Extension Agent father, Phil Rucker has impacted her life, she says, “My Father has always involved me in his career in every way.  My Mother and I are in charge of teaching the young students about beef cattle at his Ag Awareness Day for 2nd graders every year.  My Father helped me to exhibit livestock and how to perform to the best of my abilities.  As my interest moved from cows to literature, he never stopped supporting me.  He set the example of hard work no matter what kind of work it is.  He has shown me unwavering love and devotion.  My Father is the greatest leader in my life and inspires me every day to become the type of mentor he is for me.”

Julia Skelton is the daughter of Bill and Mary Skelton from Haywood County.  She is studying Exercise and Sports Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Julia says that the human body has always fascinated her.  Participating in track and cross country made her think about how the human body functions, what its limits are and how to push those limits.  Because of this, she decided to pursue a career in physical therapy through the major of Exercise and Sports Medicine.  After spending time with and helping children as a camp counselor at an environmental camp, she decided to narrow her career to pediatric physical therapy.  She has seen how she can make a difference in children’s lives and how they can make a difference in hers.  When asked how her Extension Agent father, Bill Skelton has impacted her life, she says, “both of my parents have always taught me to help others, do my best, and always learn.  They always read to me to expand my world.  My Father lived his value of learning by completing his Doctorate degree.  Watching him work at that goal showed me how much he valued education.  My parents have always supported me by attending awards ceremonies, cheering at sporting events, planning my birthday parties, and most of all, picking me up when I failed.  This showed me how much I was loved and valued.”