For generations the men and women that drive Yuma County’s agriculture industry have done what they can to make sure Americans stayed fed. But, there’s one commodity that they just couldn’t grow and that’s a workforce. University of Arizona Tanya Hodges says years ago a group of farmers decided to go a little greener in the form of pitching in to send future agriculture leaders to school. The Yuma County Agriculture Producers then sprouted the idea which has long since grown.
YCAP planted the seed and it took the Yuma Fresh Vegetables Association to water it; soon the two opened their annual Harvest Dinner to the public and local students have been reaping the benefits of Yuma’s generosity. The Harvest Dinner has become one of the Desert Southwest’s most anticipated events; the event brings in masters of industry, civic leaders and the community all to celebrate our agriculture industry.
The Harvest Dinner is no easy task and organizers depend on the help of local volunteers like members of Yuma County’s 4-H and the Future Farmers of America. Both groups were recognized during a ceremony on Wednesday. The two ag based groups received funds as a way to say “thank you” and to help them further their educations. In total YCAP raised $48,000 dollars from last year’s Harvest Dinner; those funds were then turned into scholarships and given to area students who are majoring in agriculture.
Recipients of the scholarships must maintain a 2.5 grade point average, attend either Arizona Western College or the University of Arizona and must keep agriculture as their major.
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