Eight SUNY Cobleskill students were awarded the New York State Agricultural Society Ambassador Scholarship at the annual Agricultural Society Forum in Syracuse on January 4-5, making up more than half of the field of 15 awardees for 2017 and setting a College record.

The Ambassador Scholarships are awarded to young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, either full-time college students studying agriculture or individuals employed in the agricultural industry. The award includes a paid trip to the Ag Society Forum, where Ambassadors can connect with the some of the most influential people in New York agriculture and engage with the industry’s most pressing issues.

The annual Forum is the largest statewide agricultural meeting, with nearly 500 people in attendance. It brings together all sectors of the food system to explore critical issues in the future of New York agriculture.

For the 2017 Ambassador class, the NYS Agricultural Society received 28 applications for 15 positions — up from 10 positions in previous years. The awards went to many agricultural business students, as well as one Cornell Cooperative Extension educator and a graduate student.

The eight Ambassadors from SUNY Cobleskill were Andrew Acomb, April Gokey, Ethan Jacobsen, Kaylah Gulley, Rhyne Maas, Sarah Peavey, Catie Rowe, Kassi Hetherly. They are all Agricultural Business majors except Hetherly, who studies Animal Science. Heatherly and Rowe also received the Ambassador Scholarship last year.

Since 2014, nearly 50 students from nine colleges and universities have participated, including Virginia Tech, the University of Vermont, Penn State, Cornell University, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State College, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.