Coleman Simpson plans to have a bright future in the world of agriculture.
Recently, the Lakewood High School senior received a little help to begin his journey. Simpson received a $1,500 scholarship from America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, sponsored by the Monsanto fund. Coleman received the award during his school’s Future Farmers of America banquet.
“I’m really excited and honored to get it,” Coleman said. “It’s a national award and not too many people get it. It’s a nice feeling to get it considering that I’m coming from a small school where you don’t see that happen much.”
More than $500,000 was awarded to students across the United States to help students who plan to study agriculture.
“It’s such an amazing industry,” he said. “It’s not just farming, it’s so many different careers.”
After graduating from Lakewood High School, Simpson will attend North Carolina State University to major in agriculture education.
“I’m really excited and I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s the school I wanted to go to for a long time. It’s really great to be able to go to the school I love and get a degree for what I want to do.”
The nonprofit organization operates in agriculture communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. According to the Monsanto Company, America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders is a new program that encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides college scholarships to support their education.
“I’m going to be a part of agriculture, but I’m doing it through an education field, which is really my passion,” he said. “I love agriculture because it’s the basis of civilization and it’s so interesting to actually see what goes on with it.”
In addition to serving in several organizations at Lakewood, Simpson said he enjoys participating in FFA. It’s an organization, which has meant a lot to him during his four years of high school
“It helps me become the leader and the person I am today,” he said. “It helped me develop better leadership skills and I’ve grown so much.”
Grow Ag Leaders scholarships, administered by the National FFA Organization, are available to high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in ag-related fields. To be considered, each applicant must obtain endorsements from at least three local farmers. After a six-state pilot launch in 2014, the program has expanded across the country.
“I’m really excited to get this award because it’s the Grow Ag Leaders and the Monsanto Fund is putting their trust in me to help carry the future of agriculture, which is really exciting for me.”