Four scholarships awarded by Aiken Master Gardeners Association

May 10—On May 9, four Aiken County high school students were awarded Aiken Master Gardeners Association Agriculture/Horticulture Scholarships. The AMGA offers scholarships each year to high school students who have been admitted to a college and who plan to major in a field related to agriculture or horticulture. Scholarships are a minimum of $1,000 and will only apply to each student's freshman year.

This year, the scholarship recipients were Trista Brown, Lauren Lusk, Andrew Pond and Zeb Proctor. Awardees were announced by AMGA Chairman Jim Pierce. Along with Pierce, other members of the AMGA scholarship committee include Ellie Evans, Edna Mills and Gerry McDonald.

Brown will be attending Clemson University where she plans to study agriculture and to later expand her grandparents farm.

"I grew up partly living on my grandparent's farm. Every opportunity I could get, I would be out there," she said. "My grandmother grows a garden every year and this scholarship was really cool to me because it's about gardening!."

Brown grew up riding horses at her grandparent's house and plans to try out for Clemson's equestrian team. She also plans to join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or another campus outreach program.

"My faith is very important to me," she said.

Lusk, who also plans to attend Clemson University, wants to earn a degree in wildlife and fisheries biology and to later pursue a career in conservation of natural resources.

"Growing up, my grandmother would take me on walks on the Greeneway trail in North Augusta and would always point out all of these different species of animals and plants that we would find," said Lusk. "I want to go into that field to make sure that my future generations are able to enjoy it as I have."

Pond plans to pursue a degree in agribusiness at Clemson University.

"Everyone needs to eat, and that's not going to stop anytime soon," he said. "I hope to work in management and help farmers find more optimized methods of production on their farm."

Pond intends to become heavily involved on Clemson's campus, and like Brown, he plans to join the FCA. Both Brown and Pond are currently on their FCA high school leadership staff, and he hopes to replicate that in the fall.

"I plan on attending USC Aiken, right here locally," said Proctor, who has goals to continue gardening and farming in the future. He also plans to have his own lawn care business .