Contact:  Maribel Ochoa, (949) 471-3206


UnitedAg Awards Record $117,000 in College Scholarships to 59 Deserving Students Statewide; Historical Awards Total Now Exceeds $1.3 Million
Recipients to be recognized at celebratory luncheons across the state –
in Orcutt, Oxnard, Salinas and Fresno – this month

IRVINE, Calif., (AgPR), June 13, 2017UnitedAg, a member-owned agricultural trade association representing more than 650 organizations in California and Arizona, announced today that it has awarded a record $117,000 in college scholarships to 58 children and one spouse from its member-affiliated agricultural families statewide. Provided through UnitedAg’s Agribusiness Education Foundation (AEF), the 2017 awards raise the organization’s historical scholarship total to over $1.3 million since AEF was founded in 2000. To date, 719 agricultural family members have received UnitedAg’s assistance in achieving their educational goals and aspirations. Previous UnitedAg scholarship winners have earned degrees and taken their place in management, government, market development and foreign trade, with many working in agribusiness.

“UnitedAg created the Agribusiness Education Foundation with the conviction that supporting the higher-education aspirations of our members, their employees and their families helps ensure a brighter and stronger future for the agricultural industry, and our society as a whole,” said Anthony Vollering, Chairman of the UnitedAg Board of Directors. “We’re proud of our contributions to the education and lives of the hundreds of students we’ve supported over the years and of the excellence and commitment demonstrated by this year’s record-high 59 scholarship recipients.”

Based on both merit and need, this year’s scholarship awards range in amount from $500 per individual to $8,000 for this year’s recipient of the Maurice McMillan Scholarship, Katherine Miller, whose UnitedAg affiliation is with the Saticoy Lemon Association in Santa Paula. The scholarship funds are for use during the 2017-2018 academic year.

The 2017 UnitedAg scholarship recipients will be honored during luncheon ceremonies across California today, June 13, in Orcutt, June 14 in Oxnard, June 15 in Salinas, and June 21 in Fresno.

UnitedAg is proud to announce the following scholarship recipients:

Scholarship Recipient College Member Company City
Nathalie Marie Aceves California State University Fresno River Ranch Farms/ Dairy Hanford
Ellington Adair Lee University SupHerb Farms Turlock
Marcos Amaro College of the Sequoias Pacific Ag Consulting Visalia
Nayeli Amaro San Francisco State University Al Pak Labor Soledad
Nick Batterman University of Calif. Santa Barbara Blanco Farms, LLC Salinas
Sylvia Benitez Cal  State Stanislaus Cal-Western Farming Company Visalia
Betzy Bras-Gonzalez UC Hastings College of the Law Rancho Guadalupe, LLC Santa Maria
August Brigantino University of California San Diego True Leaf Farms Salinas
Hannah Buckley Brigham Young University Pro Pacific Fresh Durham
Jennifer Burton Azusa Pacific University Ippolito International LP Salinas
Salvador Castaneda UC Davis UnitedAg Salinas
Rachel Costa Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Foothill Packing Salinas
Christopher Curiel Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Babe Farms, Inc. Santa Maria
Mariana De Leon Dominguez Harvard College Babe Farms Inc. Santa Maria
Nancy Delgado Univ of  Kansas School of Medicine Ventura Pacific Company Ventura
Tanya Dimas-Guillen Cal State Univ, Dominguez Hills Mann Packing Salinas
Patrick Dotsy Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Leavens Ranches, LLC Santa Paula
Peyton Fernandez CA Polytechnic State University GF Farms Porterville
Beatriz Garcia California State University- Fresno Dover Dairy Farms Hanford
Venissa Garcia California State University – Fresno Nichols Farms Hanford
Maria Garcia Garcia UC Santa Barbara Rancho Sisquoc Santa Maria
Oscar Garcia-Medina California State University- Fresno Dover Dairy Farms Hanford
Michaela Gurrola Arizona State University Pacific International Marketing Salinas
Spencer Hyosaka Monterey Peninsula College Pacific International Marketing Salinas
Ben Lascano University of Southern California Associated Feed and Supply Co. Turlock
Julie Lascano California State University Stanislaus Associated Feed and Supply Co. Turlock
Sophia Lazzerini Sonoma State University Ocean Mist Farms Castroville
Veronica Leon Vega CA State University, Monterey Bay Braga Ranch Madera
Candice Lopez California State University Fresno Cowlifornia Dairy, LLC Hanford
Sarah McClean Seattle University Ocean Mist Farms Castroville
Jenny McCluskey Arizona State University Tehama Angus Ranch Gerber
Miguel Mendez Grambling State University California-Arizona Growers Association Salinas
Daniel Meza CA State University, Monterey Bay Sakai Farms, LLC Watsonville
Joel Meza San Jose State University Sakai Farms, LLC Watsonville
Miguel Meza Cabrillo College Sakai Farms, LLC Watsonville
Katherine Miller* Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Saticoy Lemon Association Santa Paula
Victoria Miller California Lutheran University Saticoy Lemon Association Santa Paula
Casey Muth University of Oregon Arroyo Grande Mushroom Farm Arroyo Grande
Denver Noell College of the Sequoias Nichols Farms Hanford
Morgan Noonan Liberty University Plant Sciences, Inc. Watsonville
Parker Noonan Santa Barbara City College Plant Sciences, Inc. Watsonville
Taylor Noonan Liberty University School of Law Plant Sciences, Inc. Watsonville
Diana Pedraza Allan Hancock College West Coast Packing Santa Maria
Victor Penera San Diego State University Braga Ranch Madera
Vanessa Azucena Pinon Allan Hancock College West Cost Packing Santa Maria
Xochilt A. Puga California State University Fresno Main Street Produce Santa Maria
Andrea Ramirez-Maldonado CA State University Monterey Bay Pacific International Marketing Salinas
Eduardo Rodriguez CA State Polytechnic Pomona Ocean Breeze International/ MOBIS Carpinteria
Patrice Rodriguez CA State University, Monterey Bay Green Rubber Kennedy Ag Spreckels
Sandy Rubio West Hills Community College The Neil Jones Food Company – TOMA-TEK Firebaugh
Sierra Slighton Feather River College Pro Pacific Fresh Durham
Madeline Stehly Millersville University of PA Nick Stehly Farms Inc. Valley Center
Thomas Stehly Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Nick Stehly Farms Inc. Valley Center
Katelyn Stelljes Cal State Chico Dura Plastic Products, Inc. Beaumont
Alicia Toche Allan Hancock College West Coast Packing Santa Maria
Rocio Velazquez CA State University, Sacramento Christopher Ranch Gilroy
Elvia Velazquez University of California – Davis Christopher Ranch Gilroy
Amy Zamora Undecided Main Street Produce Santa Maria
Jairi Osiris Zurita Lita California State, Northridge West Coast Packing Santa Maria

* Maurice McMillan Memorial Scholarship Award Recipient is the top scholarship awarded each year

The primary sources of fundraising for the UnitedAg scholarships are the AEF’s Annual Golf Tournament, Walkathon and Silent Auction, as well as individual donations of cash and gifts-in-kind for use in the Silent Auction. To learn more about the scholarship program or to give a gift-in-kind for use in the Silent Auction, visit or call (800) 223-4590. To make a cash donation online, visit

About UnitedAg
Founded in 1980, UnitedAg is a member-owned agricultural trade association dedicated to providing innovative solutions for a strong and healthy agricultural industry. UnitedAg represents more than 650 agriculture-affiliated member organizations, including agricultural companies (growers, shippers, coolers, processors, dairy and livestock producers, and supporting businesses); associates; cooperatives; and partner agricultural associations. UnitedAg helps its members meet their employee benefits needs, promotes their interests with lawmakers, and helps them comply with legislation and regulation. Based in Irvine, Calif., UnitedAg has offices in Oxnard, Corona, Salinas, Fresno and Santa Maria. For more information, visit or call (800) 223-4590.