Harvey earns National Scholars honors

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, August 6, 2009

Candice Harvey, Pike County High School’s 2009 valedictorian, is one of 22 college-bound students in the country to receive a scholarship through the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program.

Harvey will attend Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia in the fall and major in agriculture economics and minor in accounting.

As a recipient of the prestigious scholarship, Harvey will receive paid tuition, fees, books, room and board and a summer internship. She will also have a job with the USDA waiting for her when she graduates.

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“I’m very honored to receive this scholarship,” Harvey said. “There were 750 applicants, and to be one of those chosen is a real honor.”

Harvey attended the USDA 1890 National Scholar annual freshmen orientation in Nashville July 27-30.

“The orientation was very beneficial,” she said. “We learned what it means to be a part of the federal government and what is expected of us through this program. We were sworn in as federal employees by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and that was a real honor.

“After attending the orientation, I’m even more excited about being a part of this scholarship program. It offers so many challenges and opportunities. And, too, I feel like I have 21 brothers and sisters who are all headed in the same direction.” That direction will be toward the “fields of agriculture.”

“The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is designed to bring more minorities into the field of agriculture,” Harvey said. “The USDA has 17 agencies, and the agency that I will be involved in is the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).”

GIPSA facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds and regulated agricultural products and promotes fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture.

“After graduation from college, I will receive four years of employment with the USDA,” she said. “The scholarship program is an investment in future USDA employees, and I could be working anywhere in the country. It’s all very exciting, and I’m looking forward to where this opportunity will take me.”

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities. The program awards scholarships to students to attend one of 18 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities.