Students from Live Oak, Nicolaus awarded Blue Diamond scholarships

Sep. 19—The Blue Diamond Growers Foundation announced this week the recipients of its 2023/24 scholarships, including college students from Live Oak and Nicolaus.

According to officials, Cade Stafford of Live Oak and Meika Lauppe of Nicolaus were two of the 25 college students to receive a scholarship this year who are either dependents of Blue Diamond employees or are members of local communities who are pursuing agriculture-related fields of study at colleges and universities.

Stafford is currently majoring in agricultural business at Oklahoma State University and Lauppe is currently majoring in agricultural business at Arizona State University. Officials told the Appeal that they could not reveal individual scholarship amounts.

"We are proud of this year's scholarship recipients and wish them the best as they pursue their higher education goals," Dan Cummings, chairman of the Board of Directors for Blue Diamond Growers, said in a statement. "The Blue Diamond Growers Foundation is committed to supporting the next generation of students, students who will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the greater agricultural industry for many years to come."

Now in its 15th year, the Blue Diamond Growers Foundation was established in 2008 for the purpose of providing scholarships to students who have demonstrated excellent academic performance and are pursuing a four-year college degree, officials said. Since 2011, the Blue Diamond Foundation has awarded nearly 200 scholarships to help students in local communities pursue a college education.

According to its website, scholarship requirements include: — Must currently live in an almond-growing region of California — Must intend to pursue a college major in an agriculture-related field, with specific emphasis on plant and crop-related majors — Must have a 3.3 GPA or higher — Enrollment verification to a college or university offering a four-year degree will be required for disbursement of award funds

Officials said Blue Diamond Growers is a grower-owned cooperative representing over 3,000 of California's almond growers and is the world's leading almond marketer and processor. Based in Sacramento, the company employs more than 1,800 people throughout its processing plants, receiving stations and gift shops.