Nearly 500 people gathered at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino near Shelbyville recently for a huge celebration. It’s Shelby County’s version of a National Ag Day celebration. And even though it doesn’t occur during the actual designated week, It brings farmers, business people, local office holders and FFA youth together to promote agriculture in general, and particularly within Shelby County.
Scott Gabbard, Shelby County Extension educator, explains that this huge gathering has been happening for over a decade. “We once had a typical ag day program that some people attended, and then some people had a vision that we could do more,” he says. “We have business people exhibit during our mixer time, then have dinner, speakers and present scholarships.”
The scholarships are possible because the event helps the Shelby County Ag Promotion Committee raise funds for worthwhile causes in agriculture.
The first recipients, Kimberly Chapman and Bradley Madison, were named in 2004. The 2015 winners were Laura Crosby and Sam Swinford. This year three scholarships were awarded. Recipients included Justin Platt, Brooke Settles and her sister, Katie Settles. Platt graduated from Morristown High School in 2015 and now attends Ball State University, majoring in chemistry. He hopes to become an environmental chemist after graduation.
Brooke Settles graduated from Waldron in 2013, and attends IUPUI, majoring in Business Management and minoring in Human Resources. She and her sister Katie co-own a produce business already. Her goal is to work for an ag company, and promote agriculture as a way of life.
Katie is a senior at Waldron and president of her FFA chapter. She will attend Marian University in nursing. Currently, she is already a Certified Nursing Assistant.
The addition of the three winners this year brings the number of scholarships awarded to Shelby County youth through this program to 27. All three 2016 winners were present to be recognized at the event.