NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: 33 Students Receive N.C. State Fair Livestock Scholarships

The N.C. State Fair Livestock Scholarship program awarded 33 scholarships this year for students to continue their education. Twenty-nine students received $2,000 scholarships that were funded through proceeds from the Junior Livestock Sale of Champions during the annual State Fair. Also, four students received $3,500 scholarships provided by sponsors. Any youth that participated in the junior livestock or market turkey shows were eligible to apply. Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler explains.

  • I am extremely proud to talk about a program through the N.C. State Fair that is helping young people further their education.
  • Each year, we have a Junior Livestock Sale of Champions, where a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the grand and reserve grand champions help fund scholarships for any student who participates in the junior livestock shows and market turkey shows.
  • This year 33 students from across the state received scholarships; 29 of those were $2,000 scholarships, and four, that were paid for by sponsors, were for $3,500.
  • We developed this scholarship program in 2015 as an added incentive to youth participants. Since we began this program, we have awarded nearly $225,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and those enrolled in institutes of higher learning.
  • The number of scholarships awarded each year is based on qualified applicants and funds available from the previous year’s Sale of Champions, which is held on the first Saturday of the N.C. State Fair.
  • Applicants were evaluated on their involvement with the N.C. State Fair junior livestock shows, academic achievement, extracurricular activities and an essay. All identifying information was removed from the applications before evaluation.
  • This is tremendous investment in the next generation of farmers and agribusiness leaders. We have students who are attending schools in state and across the country – from Appalachian State University and Iowa State University to Wake Technical Community College and West Texas A&M University.
  • If we are going to continue to be able to provide food for ourselves and the world, we will need young people who are interested in carrying on the work of agriculture.
  • We couldn’t do this without our sponsors and buyers, and I cannot thank them enough for their continued support.
  • If students are interested in applying, the application for the 2019 scholarship class will be posted online at in early January. The deadline to apply is March 1.
  • We’d love to grow this program even more and are always interested in attracting new sponsors so even more students would be able to receive scholarships. If you or your business is interested in learning more, you can contact Neil Bowman, our director of livestock shows, at 919-270-7094.

A selection committee evaluated applicants based on their involvement with N.C. State Fair junior livestock shows, academic achievement, extracurricular activities and an essay. Each application was assigned a number and identifying information was removed before evaluation.
Following is a list of the scholarship recipients by county, along with the university or community college they will attend this fall:


  • Tucker Worley, Leicester, North Carolina State University
  • Jordan McAninch, Leicester, Appalachian State University


  • Kaylyn Groce, Siler City, University of Georgia
  • Sarah Thomas, Pittsboro, Virginia Tech


  • Abby Fulton, Lexington, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Tristen Fulton, Lexington, Iowa State University



  • Caley Mayo, Whitakers, N.C. State University


  • Joey Moore, Youngsville, N.C. State University


  • Melanie Fishel, Kernersville, Oklahoma State University


  • Gage Riddick, Corapeake, Eastern Mennonite University


  • Cara Smith, Pleasant Garden, Western Carolina University


  • Mason Blinson, Buies Creek, Oklahoma State University


  • Kelsey Bentley, Kenly, N.C. State University
  • Cecilia Fricke, Middlesex, East Carolina University
  • Haley Stevens, Selma, Wilson Community College


  • Jordan Cox-O’Neill, Willow Spring, N.C. State University


  • Makensie Mohrfeld, Pink Hill


  • Bethany Mackey, Mars Hill, East Tennessee State University
  • Sylas Owen, Boone, Appalachian State University


  • Coleman Berry, Ellerbe, N.C. State University


  • Dakota Locklear, Pembroke, N.C. State University


  • Megan Lawing, Bostic, Gardner-Webb University
  • Lauren Murray, Bostic


  • LeAnn Harward, Richfield, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Rachel Brown, Walnut Cove, N.C. State University


  • Faith Dunbar, Wake Forest, East Carolina University
  • Garrett See, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


  • Alec Linton, Mount Olive, Methodist University
  • Taylor Glover, Pikeville, Wayne Community College


  • Liz-Anne Earle, Kenly, West Texas A&M University
  • Grace LaHay, Elm City


  • Leah Thomas, East Bend, Western Carolina University