Pictured, left to
right, are Whitney Phillips, Michael Routh, Race Higgins, Miss
Illinois County Fair Ashley Willner, Illinois State Treasurer
Alexi Giannoulias, Miranda Morgan and Jessica Collins.
The 2007 Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship recipients
include a future teacher, attorney, farmer and genetic engineer,
each pursuing agriculture-related studies at Illinois colleges
and universities this fall.
"These students are the future of agriculture in Illinois,"
Giannoulias said. "With their history of achievement, high
aspirations and potential, they are sure to keep Illinois in the
forefront of the agriculture industry."
The recipients of the Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship
contest were chosen from hundreds of college-bound applicants,
based on their grades, community service and personal essays
that explained their commitment to agriculture studies and
Each winner receives a $2,500 Bright Start college savings
account. Bright Start is Illinois' tax-free 529 college savings
plan. To date, the treasurer's office has awarded $75,000 in
The Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship winners are:
Collins, daughter of Gary and Brenda Collins of Flanagan.
She plans to pursue a degree in agricultural education
leadership at the University of Illinois in
Champaign-Urbana. She hopes to work with "Ag in the
Classroom" or a similar program to teach children how
important agriculture is to the nation.
Morgan, daughter of Rick and Kim Morgan of Salem. She plans
to pursue a degree in agriculture business at Rend Lake
College in Ina. She hopes to become a genetic engineer to
create new hybrids of crop seed that are more resistant to
disease and have better growth hormones. She would like to
work for Monsanto.
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Race Higgins, son
of Russel and Zan Higgins of Morris. He plans to pursue a degree
in crop sciences at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, in the College of College of Agricultural,
Consumer and Environmental Sciences. He hopes to work in a
genetic research facility to improve hybrids through traditional
breeding and genetic engineering. He would like to work with a
company such as Monsanto.
daughter of Tim and Vicki Phillips of Rushville. She plans to
pursue a degree in agriculture and consumer economics
(agriculture public policy and law) at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She hopes to become an attorney
and involve herself in the political and law-forming aspect of
agriculture and also represent the small farmer and business
Michael Routh, son
of Charles and Anne Routh of Sparland. He plans to pursue a
degree in horticulture at Illinois Central College in East
Peoria. He hopes to work in landscaping as well as farming
part-time at his family or friends' farms.
The Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship program is coordinated
by the Cultivate Illinois division of the treasurer's office. Other
Cultivate Illinois initiatives include the Green Rewards hybrid
rebate program and low-interest agriculture loans, which give
farmers and agriculture professionals access to capital for annual
operating expenses, long-term investments and alternative
[Text from file received from
the Illinois State