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Dec. 9, 2018

Students excel in online agriculture scholarship competition

By Kelsey Johnson, communication assistant


Thirteen Northwest Missouri State University students recently earned awards in the nationwide Animal Agriculture Alliance’s College Aggies Online scholarship competition, and one of them was named a “Social Media Rock Star.”

The nine-week competition challenged students to create weekly social media posts about different agricultural topics.

Northwest swept the scholarship contest for undergraduate students as Blythe Dunlap, a senior agricultural science major from Maryville, earned first place and a $2,500 scholarship; Ashlynn Lingle, a senior agricultural science major from Aspinwall, Iowa, took second place and a $1,000 scholarship; and Jenna Meservey, a senior agricultural business major from Trenton, Missouri, earned third place and a $500 scholarship.

Additionally, Northwest students claimed 10 of the 12 Excellence Awards for outshining their peers in the competition. The Northwest award winners were Hailee Beemer, Wesley Davis, Skylar Fulte, Makaela Gabriel, Rhianna Grisdale, Gracie Hunziker, Helena McNamee, Aubry Schwarte, Loran Sneller and Savanna Williams.

Week eight of the competition assigned students to promote how meat, milk, poultry and eggs have a role in a healthy diet. McNamee, a junior agriculture major from Chillicothe, Missouri, felt a deep connection with the topic and earned the “Rock Star” award. She used her personal experience to advocate for agriculture and meat products while educating others about how meat products can aid the donation of blood.

“I got extremely personal with it, and I talked about when my mom had cancer,” McNamee said. “I asked doctors how I could help my mom as well as other cancer patients, and they encouraged me to donate blood. I quickly found out that like most women my age, I had an iron deficiency. I was turned down to donate numerous times. I had to change my diet to make sure I ate iron-rich foods, which included beef, poultry and fish.”

Dunlap and Lingle said they stepped out of their comfort zones by using social media to reach a new audience.

“When I realized I was selected as one of the scholarship winners, I was shocked,” Lingle said. “I didn’t expect to be fortunate enough to receive anything other than experience from this competition. I am extremely grateful and plan to use my scholarship during my last semester at Northwest.”

Dunlap added, “Being an advocate and reaching individuals that I was not before was the most rewarding part of the scholarship competition. Ensuring that consumers know how, where and when their food is made is important in order to make healthy food choices. Now with this scholarship I get to continue my education as a Bearcat and work toward my goal of being a leader in the agriculture industry.”

The online scholarship competition helps students receive training from agriculture industry experts and engage on social media by posting information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and sharing personal stories.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468