Eight Delmarva students intent on starting careers in Delmarva’s chicken industry will receive $2,000 scholarships through the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. College Scholarship Program. They were among 27 high school, college and graduate students who applied for scholarships in 2017.

Altogether, this year’s group of applicants attend more than two dozen colleges and universities around the country. They are pursuing a wide range of majors, from business to computer science to agriculture.

Since 1985, DPI has awarded more than $108,000 through its College Scholarship Program. The scholarships are funded by DPI’s College Scholarship Golf Tournament, which took place June 7 at Green Hill Country Club near Quantico, Maryland.

Dana K. Dittoe, of Frederica, is pursuing a master's degree in agriculture with a concentration in poultry science at Mississippi State University. Dittoe’s research focus is on antibiotic alternatives in poultry diets; previous research work she pursued focused on litter management techniques.

Kate E. Bagshaw, of Seaford, will pursue a bachelor's degree at the University of Delaware. Miss Bagshaw intends to focus on computer science as her major and said that experience could help her in a poultry career working on automated production in processing plants. Miss Bagshaw has volunteered through her church and through Sussex Technical High School.

Lena N. Berry, of Wyoming, will begin attending Franklin & Marshall College later this year, pursuing a bachelor's degree in environmental science. Berry told DPI her career goals included working to monitor pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds to prevent the disease from infecting commercial chicken flocks. Berry is active in 4-H and received various awards while in high school for academic and volunteer work.

Ariana Gaston, of Townsend, will attend Colorado State University this fall. Gaston, in her application, said she is “an aspiring educator pursuing a degree towards a career in both animal science and agricultural education.” As a Middletown High School student, she participated in FFA and Women in Science Education, and her FFA adviser praised the “passion for agricultural literacy” she demonstrates.

Samantha L. Kirk, of Laurel, is enrolled at Delaware Technical Community College and Wilmington University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in business management. Kirk’s career goals are to launch a career with a poultry company — she has interned at Perdue Farms — while staying involved in her family’s chicken raising business at the same time.

Joshua D. Simpson, of Selbyville, is attending Delaware Technical Community College and will go on to complete a degree in biology at the University of Delaware. An instructor at DTCC said Simpson has “patience, persistence and precision” and seeks a “deep understanding of scientific concepts.” Simpson wrote in his application he hopes to use his education to be an advocate for Delmarva’s poultry industry.

For information, visit dpichicken.org.