Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe announced today that 32 youth, selected from Missouri 4-H and FFA, will be awarded scholarships by the Missouri State Fair Foundation Youth in Agriculture (YIA) committee. These students are seeking higher education in agriculture-related fields, and will receive their scholarships Friday, April 22, during the annual State FFA Convention in Columbia.

“Awarding these scholarships is a tradition we are proud to carry on for Missouri’s next generation of agriculture leaders,” Wolfe said. “We are appreciative of the many gracious agricultural supporters who give back year after year to make these scholarships possible.”

Scholarship applicants were evaluated in a variety of areas including Missouri State Fair participation, grade point average, community involvement and leadership roles. Since 1992, the YIA committee has awarded 538 scholarships totaling $505,000.

The scholarships are funded through the generosity of Youth in Agriculture sponsors and buyers of the livestock sold during the annual Sale of Champions; the sponsors and buyers list is available online. A portion of each animal’s sale price is allocated to the scholarship program. The Missouri State Fair Foundation also provides significant support of the scholarship program through fundraising efforts including the Governor's Ham Breakfast.

Joel Martin, of Bucklin, has been selected to receive the $5,000 platinum scholarship offered by YIA supporters. Samuel Fahrmeier, of Wellington, has been selected to receive the $2,500 supreme scholarship, sponsored by Sydenstricker John Deere of Missouri/Sydenstricker Angus Genetics. The youth chosen to receive $1,500 scholarships, sponsored by the Missouri State Fair Foundation and YIA supporters are:

· Natalie Nicole Allen, of Marceline
· Natalie Ayers, of Green City
· Zachary Ayers, of Green City
· Nicholas Banze, of Warrenton
· Neal Barnett, of Wellington
· Emma Clark, of Milan
· Meredith Jo Clevenger, of Hamilton
· Denton "Cole" Diggins, of Moundville
· Dalton Michael Edwards, of Higginsville
· Holly Enowski, of Russellville
· Abigail Gass, of Marshall
· Hanna Gregory, of Houstonia
· Derrek Hardy, of Browning
· Taylor Harrington, of Shelbyville
· Cassidy Jones, of Auxvasse
· Abigail Kirk, of Pleasant Hill
· Austin Knipmeyer, of Sweet Springs
· Blayre Ashton Messner, of Albany
· Renee Nelson, of Vandalia
· Ethan Riley, of Westboro
· Clayton Robinson, of Center
· William Robinson, of Wellsville
· Kaitlyn Ruoff, of Savannah
· Jordan Sayre, of Marceline
· Delaney Schmidt, of Defiance
· Trevor Simmons, of St. Joseph
· Corey Lane Smothers, of Elmer
· Colton Spencer, of Aurora
· Cooper Dale Sutter, of Taylor
· Ty Edward Whittaker, of Miller

The YIA committee is comprised of volunteers from across the state who work throughout the year to raise funds for the annual Sale of Champions auction and scholarships. This year’s auction will be held Saturday, Aug. 20, in the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall on the fairgrounds.

The 114th annual Missouri State Fair, themed “See What Crops Up” will be held Aug. 11-21 in Sedalia. For more information about the year's fair, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Missouri State Fair on Facebook and Twitter or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).