Friends of Dixon May Fair to Award $15,000 in Ag Scholarships; Deadline March 1

By Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology

The Friends of the Dixon May Fair this year will award eight college scholarships, totaling $15,000, to Solano County residents enrolled in a California college or university  and majoring in an agricultural-related field.  Applications must be postmarked by 5 p.m. March 1.

Scholarship chair Carrie Hamel of Dixon announced the awards are the $3000 Ester Armstrong Award and the $2500 JoAn Giannoni Award,  both in the four-year college category; and the $1500 Jack Hopkins Scholarship Award to a student attending a two-year college.  In addition, three $2000 scholarships  will be given in the four-year college category; and two 1000 scholarships  in the two-year college category.

The all-volunteer organization, headed by president Donnie Huffman of Vacaville, is the service-oriented and fundraising arm of the fair.  Since 2003, the Friends have awarded more than $200,000.  The organization raises funds from the sale of beverages at the four-day fair and donates the proceeds for exhibitor awards, building and grounds improvements, as well as college scholarships. Last year, however, the coronavirus pandemic mandates canceled the Dixon May Fair.

Applicants are scored on personal, civic and academic experience; academic standing; personal commitment and established goals; leadership potential; civic accomplishments; chosen field in the areas of agriculture, said Hamel.  Most applicants have experience in 4-H, FFA or Grange, criteria desired not mandated.

Agricultural-related fields, Hamel said, include such majors as agricultural and resource economics, agricultural business, agronomy and range science, agricultural science, agricultural systems management, animal science, avian sciences, bio-resource and agricultural engineering, plant protection science, dairy science, entomology, earth sciences, environmental horticultural science, environmental design, environmental management and protection, landscape architecture, food science, environmental toxicology, forestry and natural resources, fruit science, soils and biogeochemistry, agricultural education and communication, home economics, environmental resource sciences, agribusiness, pomology, animal science, vegetable crops, nematology, earth and soil sciences, plant pathology, food science and nutrition, wildlife and fisheries biology, horticulture and crop science, pest management, natural resources management, child, family and consumer science, viticulture and enology, atmospheric science, and  hydrologic science.

Last year’s top recipient was Kyle Esquer of Dixon, a student at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), winner of the $3000 Ester Armstrong Scholarship Award. Linzie Goodsell of Dixon, a student at California State University, Chico, won the $2500 JoAn Giannoni Scholarship Award.  At the community college level, Vacaville resident Jared Tanaka, enrolled at Modesto Junior College, won the $1500 Jack Hopkins Scholarship. Other recipients of Friends of the Fair scholarships last year were Maya Prunty of Vacaville, a student at the University of California, Davis, $2000; and Haylee Hoffmann of Dixon, a student at Modesto Junior College, $1000.

The annual deadline to apply for the scholarships is 5 p.m., March 1. More information on the scholarship application rules is available on the Friends of the Fair Facebook site at Applications must be on Friends of the Fair forms and include a personal essay and letters of support. They are to be mailed to the Friends of the Fair, P.O. Box 242, Dixon, Calif.

The scholarship committee, chaired by Hamel, also includes Tootie Huffman, Kathy Keatley Garvey and Linda Molina of Vacaville, and Marty Scrivens of Dixon.  Huffman serves as treasurer of the all-volunteer Friends of the Fair, and Scrivens as secretary.