On behalf of the SFSC Foundation, Jamie Bateman (third from right) accepts the Highlands County Soil and Water District’s scholarship donations from HSWCD supervisor Jackie Bailey. Also present are (from left) Highlands County Commissioner Jim Brooks, HSWCD executive director Susie Bishop, supervisors Doug Deen, Scott Kirouac, and Pam Fentress, and chairman Dr. John Causey.

On behalf of the SFSC Foundation, Jamie Bateman (third from right) accepts the Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District’s scholarship donations from HSWCD supervisor Jackie Bailey. Also present are (from left) Highlands County Commissioner Jim Brooks, HSWCD executive director Susie Bishop, supervisors Doug Deen, Scott Kirouac, and Pam Fentress, and chairman Dr. John Causey.

The Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District has given a financial boost to students seeking degrees in agriculture-related programs at South Florida State College.

On April 27, representatives of the conservation district presented the SFSC Foundation, Inc., with two $1,000 awards, which will be available to students this fall. The district also pledged a donation of $2,000 a year for the next five years for the purpose of helping the college’s agriculture students complete their education.

Jackie Bailey, vice-chair of the district’s five-member board of supervisors, said the scholarship donations was placed in the district’s five-year plan because supporting education is part of its mission. “We want people to become better stewards of our natural resources,” Bailey said. “We hope this scholarship will encourage students to go into fields like natural resources or agriculture. When you think about it, the first conservationist was an agriculture person. They live off the land, so they have to treat the land right.”­

“We are grateful to receive this donation from the Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District,” said Jamie Bateman, SFSC’s executive director for institutional advancement. “This contribution is valuable to our students who are seeking a degree in agriculture, the citrus industry, or natural resources. The district’s partnership with us is a perfect example as to how we can work together to ensure that the future generations of students are able to earn degrees and get the higher level of education here in their hometown.”

Generous patrons provide funding for nearly 100 scholarships through the SFSC Foundation, furthering SFSC’s mission of putting a college education within reach of residents of DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties. To learn how you can support the foundation, visit its website or call 453-3133.

For more information about SFSC programs and finding financial assistance for college, call 453-6661, 494-7500, 773-2252, or 465-5300.­