Hyers Receives Courtney Wilkes Memorial Agriculture & Veterinary Scholarship
Ethan Hyers was awarded the “2021” Courtney Wilkes Scholarship by The Vidalia® Onion Business Council. “My ultimate goal is to become the Secretary of Agriculture,” Ethan Hyers wrote in his application for the Courtney Wilkes Agriculture & Veterinary Scholarship. Now, with help from the friends and family as well as the Vidalia® Onion Business Council, he is a little closer to that dream. Ethan Hyers is an honor graduate from Bacon County High School in Alma, Georgia. He was a State FFA officer and served as a delegate for Georgia at the National FFA Convention. Ethan has a history of “Livestock Judging” and plans to continue this activity as he attends Conners State College in Warner, Oklahoma, and then transfers to Texas Tech. Ethan said, “When I’m old and can’t go anymore, I want to know that I made a difference in the world by helping feed the world and helping agriculturists across the world.” As a scholarship recipient from the Vidalia® Onion Business Council, Ethan will be asked to serve as an ambassador for the Vidalia Onion Industry. The scholarship is in its 10th year, and is available to graduating seniors in the Vidalia® onion region who plan to pursue a career in agriculture or veterinary industry.
In June 2011, 15-yearold Courtney Wilkes of Toombs County was brutally murdered while she was on vacation with her family in Florida. As an outcome of this extremely bad situation, the Vidalia® Onion Business Council has established the Courtney Wilkes Memorial Agriculture and Veterinary Scholarship to be granted annually to a select, qualifying senior graduating from any recognized high school within the Vidalia onion growing region. The scholarship award of $1,000 was first awarded in 2012 and has been given each year since. It is the desire of the Vidalia onion industry that the scholarship should serve as a positive tribute to this bright, friendly young woman.
Courtney was a rising junior at Toombs County High School and number one in her class academically. She was an officer of FFA, star soccer player, and devout Christian. She was an outdoor enthusiast described by all who knew her as infectiously cheerful and who offered to everyone around her a bright smile and silly jokes. She loved animals and aspired to be a veterinarian. Among other prerequisites, applicants must be enrolled in an agriculture or veterinary track.
This scholarship will be awarded to a student possessing characteristics and interests like those of Courtney Wilkes. With her enthusiasm for life and quirky sense of humor, she touched the hearts and lives of so many people in the Vidalia community. To them, she will always be much more than a name attached to a scholarship check.
The Vidalia® Onion Business Council is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of protecting the growing, harvesting and marketing of the Vidalia onion. For more information about the VOBC or the Courtney Wilkes Ag & Vet Scholarship, call Bob Stafford at 912-537-1881.