Wilhite welcomes guests to the 18th Annual Ag Breakfast

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[March 24, 2017]  LINCOLN - The following release was issued by the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce after the Thursday morning Ag Breakfast.  The release includes summary information about the event as well as comments made in Chamber Director Cathy Whilite's opening address.

The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerceís Annual Ag Breakfast was held Thursday at Lincoln Collegeís Jack D. Nutt Arena. The Ag Breakfast is an annual event celebrating its 18th Anniversary in 2017. During the history of the breakfast, $131,240 has been awarded in scholarships to high school seniors and college students pursuing an education in the agricultural related fields. The Chamber's Ag Committee feels that the key to the future of Agriculture in Logan County is to invest in these bright young students. This year over 200 people attended the event.

The Ag Breakfast directly reflects the Lincoln/Logan County Chamberís Ag Committee mission to enhance the Logan County economy by strengthening Ag business relationships, exploring, and implementing value added opportunities, developing and marketing agricultural tourism attractions, and encouraging natural resource management. The Chamber Ag Committee strives for the event to recognize the economic impact of agriculture in Logan County. During the breakfast, the program included a speech from State Director of Agriculture, Raymond Poe, the awarding of Ag Scholarships, recognition of John Fulton, University of Illinois Extension Director and Chamber Ag Committee memberís contribution to county agriculture and acknowledgement of Kent Kleinschmidt, Logan County farmer as one of the 2017 Prairie Farmer Master Farmers.

Since the inception of the Ag Scholarship Breakfast weíve gone from having 17 sponsors at the beginning to 55 sponsors supporting this outstanding event in 2017. In addition to giving away the scholarships we feed over 200 individuals a wonderful breakfast and provide a great program at no cost. It is ALL thanks to our local business community. The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber could not do this without the wonderful sponsors who are involved across the county. All of our sponsors contribute to the event and scholarships by investing in the future of agriculture. We deeply appreciate their investment in our community.

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Scholarship applications are evaluated by a committee comprised of Agricultural Business leaders that have made a key investment in the future of agriculture. The committee judges the student applications on essay questions, academic merits, activities, and future agriculture related endeavors.

This year there are three scholarship recipients who exemplify the outstanding qualities of future Ag leaders. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship for the 2017/2018 college school year.

Ashley Zinser, a senior at Hartsburg-Emden High School. She is the daughter of Craig and Tammy Zinser. Ashley plans on attending college and major in Ag Business.

Skye Kretzinger, a senior at Mt. Pulaski High School. She is the daughter of Tiffany and Joseph Kretzinger. Skye plans on attending college with Agriculture major.

Reagan Tibbs, a senior at Lincoln High School. His parents are Vanessa and Scot Tibbs. Reaganís plans are to attend South East Missouri State and major in Political Science with an Ag Communications focus.

[Cathy Wilhite, Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

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