UAM News

UAM Agriculture Program Continues to Grow, Awarding Four Scholarships

Kelly J Bryant Scholarship Winners (L-R) Chris Bryant, Karissa McGuire,Jason Young, Kiara Jackson, and Bill Stephens-President,UAM Agri Alumni Society.

Monticello, AR- Several agriculture students at the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s (UAM) Agriculture program were recently awarded scholarships made possible from contributions of its agriculture alumni.   Dr. Rocky Lindsey, AssociateProfessor of Animal Science and Agriculture ProgramCoordinator, expressed appreciation for the scholarships.

“The financial reward the scholarship recipients receive eases their burdens, rewards their hard work, and gives the student a firsthand perspective of how hard work and dedication pay off,” said Dr. Lindsey.

The UAM Agriculture Alumni Society established a total of four scholarships.  The first two are named in honor of Professor Emeritus of Agriculture Robert Kirst following his retirement from UAM in 1998. The scholarship is awarded to a full-time student who is a junior or senior majoring in any field of Agriculture at UAM. The recipient(s) must have and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. The recipient(s) must have a strong work ethic, good personality traits, and display excellent professional potential.  

This year’s Kirst scholarship recipients are Kody Boatright and Parker LaCotts.

Kody Boatright is from Bastrop, Louisiana, and is a senior ag business major. Boatright says “What sparked my interest in agriculture is being around animals and seeing how agriculture plays such a big role in everyday life. My goal is to graduate and start working in sales for animal pharmaceuticals. I want to thank everyone on the scholarship committee for giving me this opportunity to get this scholarship to help me finish my degree.”

Parker LaCotts is from DeWitt, AR. LaCotts said he has been in and around the row crop industry hisentire life. He started working for a crop consultant in high school, which made him want to go to college and get a plant and soil science degree. LaCotts said, “UAM has been an incredible place to attend and is filled with nothing but kind and intelligent people. I’m grateful for the scholarships and everything that UAM staff and alumni have allowed me to have to be able to further my education.”

The other two Agriculture Scholarships are named after former Agriculture Dean Kelly J. Bryant.  They, too, are presented by the UAM Agriculture Alumni Association.  This year’s recipients are Karissa McGuire and Kiara Jackson; both said they hope to be veterinarians.

Karissa McGuire is from Hope, AR. She is a senior majoring in Animal Science. McGuire said, “Growing up on my family’s farm and rodeoing most of my life played a huge role in my interest in agriculture. My grandparents and mom are the ones who helped me have an interest in agriculture; they always let me help on the farm and get involved with various things.”  After graduating from UAM, McGuire plans to attend vet school and someday have her own farm.

Kiara Jackson is from Dumas, AR; she is a junior Animal Science major. “The environment around Dumas is what sparked my interest in agriculture. From entering to leaving Dumas, you are surrounded by the agricultural scenery. My uncle is the person who led me to agriculture, as he worked for Hill Seed for many years.” Jackson plans to attend vet school to become a large- and small-animal vet after obtaining her bachelor’s degree

McGuire and Jackson are the first recipients of the Bryant Scholarship, which was announced earlier this year.  Initiated by the UAM Agriculture Alumni Society, the scholarship is a tribute to Dr. Bryant’s passion for education and his leadership. In a remarkable display of unity and determination, the society raised the necessary funds for the endowment within twelve months. “This was such a group effort made possible by more people than could ever be listed,” said Bill Stephens, UAM Agriculture Alumni Board President.

Dr. Michael Blazier, Dean of the UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources, highlighted the success of the UAM agriculture program.  
“We’ve seen a 13% increase in enrollment in our agriculture program over the past year.  That’s a testament to the commitment of our agriculture alumni and faculty to putting students on a good path in their careers and lives and the reputation our students continue to build statewide as being well-prepared for a wide array of careers in agriculture.”

To apply for these scholarships, contact Ms. Rhonda Parris at [email protected] or 870-460-1149 

UAM News is everything from the University of Arkansas At Monticello.

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