Two north country students win agriculture scholarships

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Two north country high school students have been awarded $500 scholarships to help them advance their supervised agricultural experiences with their local FFA chapters.

Lowville Academy sophomore Brandon T. Phelps and Carthage High School freshman Michaela S. Stephens were both awarded the Farm Credit East scholarships to “enhance their knowledge of the agriculture, commercial fishing or forest products industries” through supervised agricultural experiences.

SAE’s are one of the three pillars of FFA-affiliated high school agricultural education programs.

Brandon’s father (and agriculture teacher) Melvin T. Phelps said his son will use the money to develop a more efficient tree-tapping system for his maple syrup SAE. Brandon typically sells about 15 gallons of syrup a year, tapping 100 trees.

Michaela Stephens raises and breeds sheep at her family’s farm in Champion. Her mother, Michelle Y. Stephens, said her daughter plans to use her $500 for better equipment and fencing.

The family had professionally shown and bred dogs for years, which Mrs. Stephens said gave her daughter her lifelong interest in genetics.

Michaela is now able to sell her sheep to other breeders who want their desirable traits in their own stock.

Farm Credit East is part of the Farm Credit System, which provides financial services to those in agriculture and related industries.

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