The opportunity for kids to get started in the cattle industry is knocking. That’s because one of America’s most unique youth agricultural scholarship programs is now taking applications.
The NILE Merit Heifer program is a live animal scholarship, meaning the recipients are given a young, live heifer calf.
Dwain Hould is the NILE Merit Heifer Program Committee Chairman and says for 20 years, it’s been helping youth get a start in the beef cattle business and gain knowledge about the beef industry.
“These kids are very appreciative of what they get and realize it was probably the only way they were going to get into some of these herds and get cattle and then for them to be donated,” said Hould. “Without the donors, we wouldn’t have a program.”
During the program duration, participants are responsible for caretaking, record keeping, breeding, and bringing the heifer back one year later to the NILE Stock Show and Rodeo. Hould says the program helps keep the younger generation interested in animal agriculture.
“Agriculture’s future is the kids and that’s kind of what we’re trying to do is keep them involved,” said Hould.
Program participants are chosen based on merit, future goals, and ability to care for the animal. 4-H or FFA members who are 12-16 years old may apply. Applications are due June 28. For more information, visit www.thenile.org.
The 2020 recipients will be announced in late August 2019.
Story by Rusell Nemetz, MTN News