The 2016 recipient of the Tom Budd Indiana Prairie Farmer scholarship for a Purdue University freshman enrolled in ag communication knows she will receive the scholarship, but she hasn’t used it yet. In fact, she isn’t even studying at Purdue this year.
OK, how do you explain this riddle? The recipient is Emily Dougherty, who enrolled and was accepted to Purdue in the fall of 2015. She was to start as a freshman in the fall of 2016. Based on her application, she was selected to receive the scholarship, says Elizabeth Byers, student services specialist in Purdue’s Youth Development and Agricultural Education Department.
Something exciting happened for Dougherty in June 2016. She was elected as the Southern Region vice president of Indiana FFA. Instead of attending Purdue this year, she is devoting the year to serving the nearly 12,000 FFA members across Indiana. She is one of seven young people serving as state FFA officers. Students who run for a state FFA office know that if elected, it requires devoting a full year to FFA. Dougherty and her teammates live at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center near Trafalgar.
Dougherty is a 2016 graduate of Whiteland Community High School. She grew up on a crop and livestock farm, and participated in many events in both FFA and 4-H. Her parents are Matthew and Amy Dougherty of Greenwood.
“I was in 4-H for 10 years, showing dairy beef and doing other projects,” she says. “I also was in many judging and leadership contests in FFA."
Dougherty placed second in the Leadership Ambassador contest at the state FFA convention in June. She was also the District 8 FFA winner in the essay contest in 2016.
Her love of writing propelled her to enroll in ag communication at Purdue. She hopes to pursue a career in ag journalism. Her dream job would be working as an ag journalist on a network such as RFD-TV.
Dougherty will begin her career at Purdue in the fall of 2017. The Tom Budd scholarship, named for the late former editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, will be waiting for her, Byers says.
A student attending Purdue as a freshman in the fall of 2017 in ag communication will also receive the Tom Budd award. It will be for the 2017-18 academic year, Byers notes.