All three of this year’s winners of scholarships from the Willamette Valley Ag Association will graduate from Oregon State University with agriculture degrees.

In 2009, the association, which produces the Willamette Valley Ag Expo, established the annual scholarship to support students pursuing a career in agriculture production.

Proceeds from the Expo are dedicated to the scholarship program.

To be considered for a scholarship, students must have a 3.0 grade-point average or higher and be at least a college sophomore majoring in agriculture. Applications are available at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo website,

Since the program was begun, the association has funded over $50,000 in scholarships. This year a total of $8,000 will be distributed to the three recipients.

Here are the 2019 recipients:

• Ericka Rose Lepschat of Banks, Ore., will graduate with a bachelor of science degree. She majored in agricultural sciences and minored in leadership.

“I want to start working as a high school agricultural science teacher and an FFA advisor,” she said. “I hope to help students understand the importance of agriculture and where their food actually comes from.”

• Juniper Mist Cosner of Weston, Ore., is working toward a degree in agriculture science with a minor in natural resources.

“Agriculture is more than just a career in my family,” she said. “It is a long-carried tradition and way of life. My family has been in production agriculture for generations, and I am the next generation.”

• Raymond L. Seal of Corvallis, Ore., is working toward a degree in crop and soil science and agronomy.

“In the next two years I will have finished college and started to work at the agronomy company that offered me a job during my internship last summer,” he said. “In the following eight years, I am going to make every effort I can to absorb knowledge of the industry and put it to use, applying it for real-life results.”

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