IMPERIAL COUNTY FARM BUREAU SCHOLARSHIPS
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.
We were very excited to be able to award $57,500 in scholarships in 2020 to local students! We sincerely appreciate all those who supported by donating to our scholarship program in response to the cancelation of our Annual Scholarship Barbecue as well as those who have donated toward the Jack & Pauline McConnell Memorial, Vern Highley Memorial, Matt LaBrucherie Memorial, and Raul Rodriguez Memorial Scholarships. These are the people who make these scholarships possible.
Imperial County Farm Bureau
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 left sidebar for additional scholarship opportunities for local students interested in agriculture.)
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.
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.
Jack & Pauline McConnell
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.
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.
Vern Highley was a graduate of Holtville High School and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Mr. Highley used his Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts Journalism to promote agriculture through his extensive marketing and lobbying efforts. His federal relations firm represented Cotton Growers Warehouse Association, Imperial Valley Conservation Research Center and Imperial County among others.
He got his start in agriculture marketing when he served on the executive staff of Calcot. Over the years, he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Agriculture, Director of the USDA for the Western States and Pacific Trust Territories and Executive Director of Farmers and Ranchers for the Presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, before starting his own firm, Highley Associates.
Mr. Highley passed away on January 17, 2006 due to complications from cancer. His friends and family raised money to create a scholarship fund in his memory to help Imperial Valley students who continue their education to become strong members of a vibrant agricultural community.
Additional Scholarship Opportunities
In addition to the Imperial County Farm Bureau Scholarship program, local students interested in agriculture are also eligible to apply for scholarships from the following entities:
CFBF Foundation Scholarship
The California Farm Bureau Scholarship Foundation was organized to give aid to students with a desire to pursue a career in the agricultural industry. The scholarships are awarded annually based upon academic achievement, career goals, extracurricular activities, determination, leadership skills, and a commitment to study agriculture.
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One Stanley W. Strew Scholarship opportunity is available. A $3,000.00 scholarship sponsored by CA. Association of Pest Control Advisers will be selected by the Stanley W. Strew Fund Board of Trustees.
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Rain For Rent
College students can benefit through Scholarships sponsored by Rain for Rent. Rain for Rent offers
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