LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska Farm Bureau has announced the four student members that have been selected to receive a Nebraska Farm Bureau Student Mini-Grant which will help provide additional funding for their FFA or 4-H project. Those selected were Alex Stocker, Merrick County Farm Bureau; Evan Palmer, Buffalo County Farm Bureau; Kylee Plager, Lancaster County Farm Bureau; and Shay Miller, Madison County Farm Bureau.

“Nebraska Farm Bureau is excited to support members as they gain real world experience through these endeavors,” Director of Youth, Collegiate & Young Leader Programs Audrey Smith said. A NFBF committee selected the winners of the award and each recipient received a $1,000 grant.

“The winners were judged on their project summary, budget, goals, financial need and a reference from their advisor or club leader. Applicants had to be a Nebraska Farm Bureau student member. The selected grant winners are required to submit a mid-year report and explain how the grant money has benefited their projects,” she said.

The following are the winners and a summary of their projects:

Alex Stocker – Merrick County

Alex Stocker of Grand Island, NE was awarded $1000 for the expansion of his FFA Supervised Agriculture Experience project. In the fall of 2012, Stocker received a bred heifer and has grown his herd from there. With the help of this grant, Stocker will be able to pay back some of the operating loans he has taken out to start his herd. “The opportunity for Alex to enlarge his cattle herd would expand his knowledge base of livestock, finances, and making sound decisions” said advisor Jessica Brondel

Evan Palmer – Buffalo County

Evan Palmer of Kearney, NE was awarded $1000 to help begin his FFA Supervised Agriculture Experience project. Palmer is developing and designing an agricultural, fixed wing drone that will be capable of NDVI images, normal photos that will be processed in to a geo-reference orthomosaic and capable of flying in auto-pilot mode. Using this technology, Palmer will be able to help producers monitor their fields for plant development and water quality. “Evan plans to use this drone to help farmers become more efficient with pesticide and herbicide applications,” said Amherst FFA advisor Katie Frenzen.

Kylee Plager – Lancaster County

Kylee Plager of Lincoln, NE was awarded $1,000 to begin her 4-H project. Plager breeds her own goats and wants to focus on finding the correct genetic combination to produce a dapple market goat. Once her heard grows, Plager plans to sell her kids to 4-H youth and work with youth who are interested in showing goats. “Kylee is a driven 4-H’er, this grant will help her in her quest to learn more about animals and genetics” said advisor Tracy Anderson.

Shay Miller- Madison County

Shay Miller of Norfolk, NE was awarded $1,000 to expand her FFA Supervised Agriculture Experience project. Miller was awarded a Nebraska Bee Association Scholarship where she received bees to start her own colony and has plans to expand to four colonies by July 2016. Expanding her hive will allow her to mentor and educate FFA members, 4-H members, and other community members about raising bees. “My greatest influence in both organizations is when I am an active participant; therefore starting my mentoring program before I leave these organizations is imperative” said Miller.