Salem, Ore., (12/23/2014) – Pressing on to receive a college education is the goal of many IMG_8373high school graduates. Unfortunately, due to the rising costs of education, not all of them will be able to pursue that dream. The Cattlemen of Umatilla County have stepped up to help students from Umatilla and Morrow Counties reach that dream.

Randy Mills, Extension Livestock Agent for OSU Extension Service, said their first scholarship was awarded in 1992 in memory of a local cattleman. Since then, “the amount of the scholarship has varied between 1,000 and 1,500 dollars,” said Mills. In order to be eligible, recipients must major in agriculture or an agriculture related field and be finished with at least one year of college.

Kylee Jensen, an undergrad student studying agricultural science with an education option at OSU, was one of this year’s recipients of the scholarship. Her goal? To become an agricultural teacher. Receiving this scholarship brought her a flood of emotions. “It was a big relief knowing the Cattlemen’s Association would be there to help me out, especially with my last year of college,” said Jensen.

Mills is happy with what the scholarship has done for students so far, but believes even more can be done. “Although we feel we have done well, we don’t think we have been able to keep up with the increasing cost of a college education,” said Mills.

Darcy Sexon, County Executive Director for Umatilla County Farm Service Agency, said fundraisers are in progress in hopes of raising the dollar amount of the scholarship being awarded to students. “Mike Taylor of Double M Ranch proposed that the Umatilla County Cattlemen’s Association members put together another large fundraiser and this time donate heifers,” said Sexon. She said the members hope to receive at least 40 heifers to put toward the scholarship. Jerome Rosa, executive director for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, reported 20 head of cattle were donating during the meeting alone.

If you would like donate toward the Umatilla County Cattlemen’s Association Scholarship or learn more about it, contact Randy Mills at randy.mills@oregonstate.edu.

Francie Hansell and Kylee Jensen (Scholarship Winner)

Francie Hansell and Kylee Jensen. Photos Courtesy of Darcy Sexon.