Each year, the Imperial County Farm Bureau presents local students with scholarships to aid them in their studies. The scholarship fund is supported by donations and our annual Farm Bureau Scholarship Barbecue, held annually in April. The 2015 Scholarship BBQ is tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 24, 2015.
We were very excited to be able to issue close to $23,000 in scholarships in 2014 to local students! We sincerely appreciate all those who supported the Farm Bureau BBQ, and those who have donated toward the Vern Highley Memorial, Matt LaBrucherie Memorial, Raul Rodriguez Memorial, Jack & Pauline Memorial and FCSSW Annual Farmer of the Year Scholarships. These are the people who make these scholarships possible.
Applications for the 2015 Farm Bureau Scholarship Program will be available in early Spring of 2015. For other scholarship opportunities, look at the text along the right-hand side of this page.
2014 Scholarship Recipients
Imperial County Farm Bureau scholarships are open to Imperial County students who will be enrolled in college full-time pursuing an agriculture-related career. (See the sidebar along the right for additional scholarship opportunities for local students interested in agriculture.)
The following students were selected to receive scholarships for the 2013-14 school year. If you'd like to get to know a few of our previous scholarship recipients, click here.
Remington Campbell is a Brawley Union High School graduate who is currently in his first semester at Lewis & Clark College where he is majoring in Biology. He has been interest in and involved with animals all his life, and began raising his own in high school when he joined FFA. He has taken his passion with him into his college education where he plans to ultimately earn his doctorate in veterinary medicine. He would like to possibly return to the Imperial Valley someday to help local FFA and 4-H projects while maintaining a general practice.
Jaycie Cruz graduated from Brawley Union High School this year, and is now attending New Mexico State University with a major in Agricultural Business and a minor in Pre-law. Her involvement in FFA and Mock Trial throughout high school have helped lead her to her educational and career goals. Once she finishes college, she'd like to return to the Valley and help protect the rights of our local farmers and advocate for the future of agriculture.
Amy Diaz is currently a first-semester student at IVC after graduating from Central Union High School this year. She is working to obtain her prerequisites before transferring to UC Santa Barbara where she plans on earning her degree in Biology. Upon completion of her Bachelors Degree she'd like to apply to graduate school at Cornell University for her Masters and Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Amy was thoroughly involved in several extracurricular activities throughout high school ranging from sports to volunteer work in the community.
Brooks Hamby graduated from Brawley Union High School as a salutatorian this year and is now attending Stanford University. He is majoring in Natural Resources and Political Science where he wants to study the representation of property owners in governmental regulatory disputes where property rights are being damaged. Brooks has prevoius involvement in 4-H serving as Vice-President and President along with being the County Poultry Showman Champion. He also completed an internship at Imperial Irrigation District where he researched and studied water rights issues pertaining to the Imperial Valley.
Preston Hutchinson is in his second year at New Mexico State University where he is majoring in Ag Business/Economics. He has already gained some work experience in the ag industry while attending school. He completed an internship over the summer at Helena Chemical where he would like to begin his career after he completes college. Preston achieved the 2013 NMSU Dean's List, Crimson Scholar and Honors Society.
Matthew Jaime graduated from Imperial High School in 2014 as Class President. He is now in his first semester at Fresno State University majoring in Foods & Nutrition. He was a member of Southwest Valley 4-H where he served as President and raised lambs. He was also instrumental in starting the 4-Healthy Living Program within his club which educated members on better living through nutrition and activity. Matthew has already become involved with the Ag Ambassadors at Fresno State and plans on helping out with local 4-H and FFA clubs.
Alyssa Palma is from Holtville, and is currently a student in her third semester at Reedley college. She is studying Agriculture Education with the goal of returning to the Valley and becoming an agriculture teacher at a local school. Alyssa has spent her four years of high school and two and a half semesters at Reedley on the farm getting hands-on experience. She is also involved in several clubs including the Reedley College Beef Show Team, Agricultural Ambassadors and Aggie Club.
Jissel Ramirez is a Brawley Union High School graduate who is now attending Grand Canyon University with a major in Nursing and Music Ministry. She was very active in high school as she was involved in sports, church, community service and acquired a passion for music. Jissel plans to use her education to become a Nursing Professor, and stands by her faith in everything she does. She would also like to provide scholarships to students once her career is established.
Brittany Studer graduated from Central Union High School this year and is now attending Arizona State University where she is pursuing a degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. She was raised by parents who were once active agriculture members in the community. Brittany helped out in her high school's special ed class where she grew a love for helping students with different disabilities. Once she obtains her degree she plans on going to a rural community where a Speech Pathologist is much needed within a school district.
Matthew LaBrucherie Scholarship
Matthew LaBrucherie lived the American Dream and spent his life helping others do the same. The son of French immigrants, Mr. LaBrucherie attended Imperial Valley College, Oregon State University and St. Mary's College, where he earned a degree in business administration before returning to Imperial Valley to farm. He was a founder of McCabe Cattle Company, and personally built many of the corrals by hand, which are still in use today. He worked with partners to create El Toro Land & Cattle, El Toro Grain and El Toro Export. These businesses, along with his extensive investment of time, energy and perseverance in giving back to his community contributed immeasurably to advancing the agricultural economy of the Imperial Valley.
2014 Scholarship Program Recipients
Kassandra Buzo is from Brawley, and is currently attending her third year at Cal Poly, Pamona. She is majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Zoology in which she wants to utilize to study animals from different regions of the world. Her ultimate goal is to become a Veterinarian, and return to the Valley to open her own animal clinic. Kassandra's career choice has been greatly influenced by her involvement in FFA where she was a member of the Brawley Chapter for four years and raised swine for three years.
Carlos Gomez is a 2014 graduate from Imperial High School now attending his first semester at Cal Poly, Pamona. He is majoring in Biotechnology to be able to pursue a career with the USDA or a private company as a research biologist who examines and tests samples from different plant and animal subjects. Carlos has been very successful as a student and in his extracurricular activities. He had several leadership roles in high school inluding Class President, Lt. Governor of the Key Club and National AP Scholar amongst many others.
Brea Haller is currently in her forth year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo majoring in Agricultural Business. Her foundation in agriculture she's gained throughout her life has encouraged her to pursue a career in the field. Her years of involvement in FFA and 4-H has now transitioned into being on the Board of Directors College of Agriculture and Food & Environmental Sciences Representative. Brea would like to obtain her Juris Doctor or Masters in Public Policy and practice law with a focus on water law or agricultural patents.
Cory Hanks is currently a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but is originally from Brawley. He is attending Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine where he is working on his Doctorate Degree. The knowledge he's gained at LSU has led him down a research oriented path and he would love to contribute to the world's understanding of infectious and zoonotic diseases. Cory also contributes to his adding to his wealth of knowledge by involving himself in extracurricular activities such as volunteering at animal clinics, assisting with sample collections and participating in clubs.
Katlyn Locher is an El Centro resident currently attending Imperial Valley College with a major in Agricultural Science. She is currently President of the IVC Ag Club and volunteer leader for Southwest Valley 4-H. She also works for her uncle's harvesting company raking and baling various forage crops. Katlyn donates her time to various groups and events in the agricultural community. Upon completion of her degree, she'd like to continue contribute to the future of agriculture in the Imperial Valley.
Conner Trimm is from Brawley and is currently attending his first year at Cal Poly, SLO with a major in Animal Science. He plans to further his education by pursuing his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and becoming fluent in French. His future has been shaped by his early fascination with animals. Upon completion of his education, Conner would like to open up his own veterinary practice in a farming community. Aside from his dedication to animals, he was also involved in several extracurricular activities such as athletics, California Boys State and community volunteer work.
Austin Zendejas is from Holtville and is now in his second year at Cal Poly Pamona where he is majoring in Agricultural Science. His choice to pursue a degree in agriculture came from growing up in the Imperial Valley where agriculture is such a huge industry and working on the farm with his grandfather who is a local farmer. He was also an FFA officer where he gained some of his experience in agriculture. Austin beleives there is a lot of room for growth, change and development in the farming idustry. He would like to learn a way to start developing more advanced, less damaging ways to enhance our crop growth.
Raul Rodriguez Memorial Scholarship
Raul Rodriguez, former Farm Bureau board member, spent his life helping others, always ready to offer his time or resources to a good cause. A Brawley native, Raul grew up working on his father's ranch. He attended Cal Poly Pomona where he earned a degree in crop science before returning to the Valley to begin his own farming operation with his brother. In addition to serving as board member at Farm Bureau, Raul also served on the IID's Water Conservation Advisory Board as well as the USDA Farm Service Administration's County Advisory Committee.
2014 Scholarship Program Recipients
Joshua Klockmann is in his third year at Cal Poly, Pamona majoring in Plant Science. He is also considering a double major in Agricultural Science so he can earn a teaching credential to become an agricultural teacher. After he earns his degrees and credential, he would like to return to the Imperial Valley to take over his family owned Madjool Date Grove. Joshua was involved in 4-H and FFA from age nine through eighteen where he learned the importance of community service, commitment and responsibility. He continues to volunteer his time to these groups.
Lorena Ortiz graduated from Calipatria High School and is now attending her first Semester at UCLA with a major in Life Sciences emphasizing in Biology or Physiology. She has had avid involvement in activities such as 4-H, athletics, Relay for Life and ASB. Lorena has entered the Life Sciences program in which both of her potential educational paths fall under. Her love for agriculture and equal love for athletics has her undecided between committing to the dream of owning a farm or becoming an athletic trainer. One thing she is sure of is that she will continue her involvement in the things she was raised supporting: Relay for Life, 4-H, playing softball and giving back to the community.
Cole Pfister is currently attending his first semester at Texas Christian University after graduating from Brawley Union High School this year. He is pursuing a degree in Farm and Ranch Management with the intentions of becoming a farmer. He plans to follow in the footsteps of his family who has been farming here in the Imperial Valley for seventy five years. Cole has participated in 4-H, FFA, church activities, academic leadership roles and community service.
2014 Scholarship Program Recipients
Jordan Abatti is a graduate from Brawley Union High School who is now in his first year at UCLA studying Business Economics. He has experienced, at a young age: growing, harvesting and marketing seventy acres of wheat. Although he has strong ties to the agricultural industry, his love and involvement in sports has driven him to pursue a career in sports management where he would like to work for either Major League Baseball or a professional baseball organization. Aside from athletics, Jordan has also participated in several other extracurricular activities including Mock Trial, ASB and community service.
Lucia Ramirez is from Imperial and is currently attending her third semester at Cal State, Chico majoring in Animal Science. She grew up raising and caring for animals which has led her to pursue a career as a Veterinarian. Throughout high school, she was a member of Imperial FFA where she raised and showed Feeder Calves, poultry, pigmy goats and heifers. Lucia also participated in other extracurricular activities such as Talent Search, Judo and Relay for Life. She would like to eventually return to the Imperial Valley and open up her own animal clinic along with an feed and tack store.
Katelyn Toth is currently in her first semester at New Mexico State University after graduating from Holtville High School this year. She is double majoring in Agriculture Education and Animal Science with the hopes of becoming an agriculture teacher and an advisor for an FFA chapter officer team. She became involved in FFA her sophomore year where she raised sheep and also served as Secretary and Reporter. Katelyn also competed in Vegetable Crops Judging and has gained valuable skills in public speaking and leadership throughout her time in FFA.
Jack & Pauline McConnell Memorial Scholarship
Prior to their untimely deaths in June 2012, Jack & Pauline McConnell were strong advocates for agriculture education. Jack served on the Farm Bureau scholarship committee for as long as it existed, and outside of Farm Bureau the pair shared their rich knowledge with many local and even international students of all ages.
It is fitting, then, that their legacy will continue in a Jack & Pauline McConnell Memorial Scholarship fund, which has been established by Imperial County Farm Bureau in the McConnells' memory.
Jack had served as a Farm Bureau board member continuously since the 1950s, while Pauline was extremely active in Farm Bureau Women as well as serving on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors, among many other activities in service to our community and agriculture industry. Click here to read more about this couple and their contributions to the Imperial Valley.
The McConnell Memorial Scholarship will be funded through donations made in Jack & Pauline's memory. If you are interested in making a donation to the fund, contact ( or 760-352-3831), or simply mail a check to Imperial County Farm Bureau, 1000 Broadway, El Centro CA 92243. Be sure to include a note on or with your check to let us know that you'd like your donation to go toward the Jack & Pauline McConnell Memorial Scholarship fund. Donations will go directly into scholarships for local students. Students presented with the Jack & Pauline McConnell Memorial Scholarship will have a chance to learn more about Mr. and Mrs. McConnell and their contributions to the local agriculture industry.
2014 Scholarship Program Recipients