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World Ag Expo® and E.M. Tharp, Inc. have teamed up again to provide the "We Believe in Growing" scholarship, which supports local high school students who will be attending four-year universities to major in an agricultural field. This year's winners, Aalexias Woolf and Abbigail Prins, will each receive $2,500 scholarships to be renewed up to four years, totaling $10,000 per student.

"We are thrilled to join again with World Ag Expo® to support agricultural education," said Casey Tharp, Vice President of E.M. Tharp, Inc. "There is so much ambition and talent within our younger generation. I am optimistic about the future of agriculture, because of students like Aalexis and Abbigail."

Aalexias Woolf, a student at North High School in Bakersfield, CA, plans to study Agriculture Education at California State University, Fresno this upcoming fall.
Being raised around livestock and animals, Aalexias dreamed of becoming a veterinarian until she reached high school, where she fell in love with agriculture education. Aalexias has been heavily involved with the FFA organization, and was selected this year to act as a delegate for California FFA at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN.

"The agriculture community is a small, tight-knit community," said Woolf." Participating in the agriculture program at North High School has given me opportunities that I never thought were possible...I am incredibly grateful for the chance to be involved in the agriculture industry and look forward to the chance to continue my education and career in the field."

Abbigail Prins, a student at Mission Oak High School in Tulare, CA, plans to study Animal Science at Washington State University. Abbigail was crowned District 9's first Alternate Dairy Princess, and has won the California Junior Holstein Association's Dairy Bowl for the past four years.

"The career goal that I've set, is to become a Dairy Geneticist," said Prins, "Through this profession I hope to make the dairy and agriculture industries more efficient, by producing more yield with fewer resources...The biggest impact I want to make, is to make the lives of dairy farmers easier, all while still producing a perfect product."
To be considered for the scholarship, students from across the Central Valley submitted letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and must expect to graduate from high school during the 2017-2018 school year.

The winners will be recognized at the World Ag Expo Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 starting at 7:30 a.m. in the Conference & Dining Room of the Heritage Complex. Media is invited to attend the breakfast and awards ceremony. Please reach out to Jennifer Fawkes at with questions or interview requests.

The International Agri-Center® is home to World Ag Expo®, February 13-15, 2018, in Tulare, California. An estimated annual average of 100,000 individuals from 70 countries attend World Ag Expo® each year. The largest annual agricultural show of its kind, World Ag Expo® hosts 1,500 exhibitors displaying cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment on 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space.