Three New York high school seniors have received the distinct honor of being named statewide winners of the New York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship. Each student was previously named one of 11 district-wide winners and then went on to compete at the state level. The winners were selected based on their application and essay submission answering the question, “If you had the power to change something in your community or on your farm, what would you change and why?” The applicants also must have a family Farm Bureau membership or a Student Farm Bureau membership.

1st: Benjamin James Gardner

1st: Benjamin James Gardner

The first place winner of a $1,500 scholarship is Benjamin James Gardner of Hillsdale, NY in Columbia County. He is a senior at Taconic Hills High School and was the District 10 winner. Gardner raises a herd of four Jersey purebred cattle on a farm owned by family friends, and has conducted a research project on polled genetics in Jersey dairy cattle. He is also a founding member and President of his school’s FFA chapter. Upon graduation, Gardner plans to attend Cornell University, majoring in large animal veterinarian research on dairy cattle.

2nd: Kristen Gallagher

2nd: Kristen Gallagher

The second place scholarship prize goes to Kristen Gallagher of Waterville, NY. Gallagher, who represented Oneida County Farm Bureau in District 6, received a $1,200 scholarship. She lives on her family’s dairy farm and is a senior at Waterville Central School. Gallagher has won numerous awards through NYS Jr. Holstein, dairy judging, 4-H and is the Oneida County Dairy Princess. When she graduates, Gallagher is looking to major in Animal Science in college.

The third place winner is Stephanie McBath, a senior at Schuylerville High School. McBath was the District 8 winner representing Saratoga County Farm Bureau and will receive a $1,000 scholarship for her placement at the state level. She has three registered Holsteins that she cares for and shows and also works at King Brothers Dairy, operating the on-farm store. McBath is the NYS Dairy Princess and has held numerous leadership roles in FFA, 4-H and in her high school. McBath plans to attend Cornell University upon graduation where she would like to study Animal Science.

3rd: Stephanie McBath

3rd: Stephanie McBath

The other district scholarships winners include:

District 1: Natalie Strub is from Erie County and attends Springville Griffith Institute. She plans on attending Morrisville State College and majoring in Dairy Science.

District 2: Katherine Hopkins is from Niagara County and attends Akron Central School. She plans on attending SUNY Cobleskill and majoring in Sustainable Crop Production.

District 3: Jacob Maslyn is from Ontario County and attends Manchester Shortsville High School. He plans on attending either Morrisville or SUNY Cobleskill with a major in either Dairy or Animal Science.

District 4: Ryan J. Karr is from Steuben County and attends Arkport Central School. He plans on attending Penn Tech or Alfred State to pursue a major in Diesel Mechanics.

District 5: Lucas Nassimos is from Madison County and attends Madison Central School. He plans on attending either Le Moyne, Delphi, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, or SUNY Brockport to major in Nursing.

District 7: Loyal Gregory is from Clinton County and attends Northern Adirondack Central School. He plans on attending SUNY Cobleskill with a major in Dairy Management.

District 9: Rachel Stone is from Otsego County and attends Cooperstown Central School. She plans on attending SUNY Cobleskill and majoring in Dairy Production and Management.

District 11: Rosemarie Andrews is from Suffolk County and attends Shoreham Wading River High School. Although undecided in her choice of colleges, she plans on majoring in Nutrition/Food Science with a minor in Agriculture.