AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807

September 1, 2017

Growing the Grower Scholarships Available for Food Producers and Students
in Taney and Stone Counties

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Scholarship monies for professional development opportunities are available for those working in any aspect of the food system in Stone and Taney counties.

For the past two years, the Growing the Grower program has helped to provide professional development and mentoring opportunities to local food producers and students.

The $96,694 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was awarded to the OWNit Coalition Food Security Action team in 2015 and was connected to other local food security efforts.

"We believe the local food system of Stone and Taney counties is stronger now because of this program. Outcomes from a series of professional development workshops show increased entrepreneurial and business skills of local producers," said Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Members of 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) were also invited to participate, to gain skills to help these young growers transition into an agricultural career of their choosing.

Scholarship monies are still available through Sept. 15.


Other aspects of the program have included one on one mentoring with University of Missouri Extension faculty. This offered growers an opportunity to discuss agricultural concerns or questions and receive personalized information and technical assistance specific to their farm.

"This grant has afforded us the opportunity to help develop a more prepared workforce, and to support sustainable growing techniques to obtain maximum yield and higher farm profits. We have seen increased availability of fresh, locally grown foods; and greater health and economic benefits for the communities involved," said Duitsman.

Stone and Taney counties have a strong agricultural history and increasing market opportunities for farmers and ranchers.

"The Growing the Grower grant has been an excellent opportunity for our local food system. It's been exciting to see so many in the agriculture field learn and grow their businesses. We are wrapping up the grant, and want to make sure everyone is aware of the scholarship opportunity available to our community," said Lisa Marshall, Community Outreach Division Manager at the Taney County Health Department.


The deadline for scholarship applications is Sept. 15, 2017. Scholarships must be used for an agriculture related conference/training in the state of Missouri and may be used toward conference fees, meals, hotel, mileage, etc.

Preference will go to residents of Stone and Taney counties, but everyone is encouraged to apply. You may only receive one scholarship, but you may request multiple conferences on an application.

To obtain an application, or for more information on the Growing the Grower program, contact Lisa Marshall at (417) 334-4544 ext 252.

Source: Dr. Pam Duitsman, (417) 881-8909

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