Ten $1,000 scholarships to be awarded on Grand Drive’s 20th anniversary
Submitted by Lori Bower
The Kansas State Fair’s 4-H/FFA Grand Drive program is broadening beyond its annual livestock competition to reward not only top-notch animals, but the hard-working youth that raise them. At the 2019 Kansas State Fair, the Grand Drive Committee will begin awarding $1,000 each to 10 secondary and post-secondary students who have demonstrated excellence, commitment and integrity as ambassadors of the Kansas State Fair junior livestock program.
“Since the Grand Drive began 19 years ago, our vision has been to reward youth livestock program participants who don’t necessarily make it to the show finals, yet work incredibly hard,” said Virginia Crossland-Macha, Kansas State Fair Board President. “These are the youth who will come back to family farms and lead Kansas agribusinesses — as well as return to the fair with their children to continue the tradition — so it’s a win-win for our participants and our state.”
The Grand Drive currently holds about $350,000 in funds generated over the past 19 years. Recently, the Grand Drive Scholarship Endowment was established at Hutchinson Community Foundation, with a principal of $150,000. Another $50,000 will be set aside to directly fund the first five years of scholarships, so that the endowment can build to self-fund subsequent scholarships. The Grand Drive committee will be spearheading future fundraising efforts, with assistance from the Fair Board. Scholarship application details and evaluation criteria will be determined in the coming months.