The future of urban agriculture in Detroit and other Michigan cities has just received a big boost, in the form of educational scholarships aimed at rewarding the efforts of students who are participating in revitalization.
The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair has announced that in collaboration with the Detroit Shriners and the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and Detroit Metro CVB, the Fair will award $10,000 in educational scholarship funds to deserving youth in cities across the state. The Urban Youth Agriculture Scholarship Program is aimed at increasing involvement and awareness of youth agriculture programs, and to promote farming, agriculture, and livestock management within the great state of Michigan.
“We feel this is one of the most important initiatives that the revival of the State Fair at the Suburban Collection Showplace can contribute at this time, to inspire and encourage the next generation to continue the legacy of the great agricultural industry in our state,” says Blair Bowman, manager of The Michigan State Fair, A Private Entity, LLC and operator of the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair. “This commitment of $10,000 in scholarship resources, dedicated to help recognize and reward youth participation in urban agriculture, is an investment in our future. Our next challenge is to quickly spread the word that this program has been launched and connect with those youngsters who qualify for consideration.”
The Detroit Shriners Organization and Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and Detroit Metro CVB have each contributed $5,000 to the 2013 Urban Youth Agriculture Scholarship Program. The entire amount of $10,000 in scholarship resources is aimed at encouraging young urban farmers to learn about the process of planting, cultivating and harvesting fresh produce in their cities. “We are very enthusiastic about this important initiative to encourage and empower urban youngsters to learn agricultural practices,” says Craig Stigelman, Chairman of the Detroit Shrine Circus and executive committee member of the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair, A Private Entity, LLC. “The Shriners organization has long been dedicated to the health and wellness of children and their families, and this program will pay great dividends in that area, along with teaching important skills and understanding of food systems. We feel this is a wonderful way to contribute to the positive momentum taking root in the metro Detroit area, and in other urban communities as well.” Since its inception, the Detroit Shriners Organization has been involved in a wide spectrum of community enhancement programs, and also has an extensive history providing health support to children that are treated at its Shriners Hospitals for Children in Erie, PA, Chicago, IL and Cincinnati, OH.
“This Urban Youth Scholarship Program will serve as a catalyst to better connect urban agriculture initiatives with State Fair programs,” says Kent Roberts, Director of the National Civility Center, who is helping to administer the scholarship program, “Our mission is to identify and reward young students who are involved with current urban farming efforts and provide financial resources to support their future career pursuits.”
In addition to the Urban Youth Agriculture Initiative Scholarship Program, the Fair has also added additional youth scholarship opportunities by launching a new gold ribbon program for youngsters that have participated in other local and county fairs. Young agriculture enthusiasts are invited to enter a variety of competitions at the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair, and winners within their respective divisions will be awarded financial scholarships, along with other prizes.
The History and Evolution of the Michigan State Fair and the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair, a Private Entity, LLC
The original Michigan State Fair, which debuted in Detroit in 1849, was one of the first statewide fair events to take place in the United States. It moved permanently to its home at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on Woodward Avenue in 1905 and was staged there until 2009, when it was discontinued by a resolution of the state government, due to ongoing budget issues. The 2013 Michigan State Fair is being produced by a private entity, and presented with title sponsor Fifth Third Bank. The 2013 Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair has a deep commitment to the ongoing development and support of agriculture, small business and family entertainment, while preserving the legacy and beloved traditions of the original State Fair. For more information on the Fifth Third Bank Michigan State.
Source: Fifth Third Bank/Michigan State Fair