California’s table grape growers recently awarded nine scholarships to students residing in the table grape growing regions of California. These students will be attending universities in the fall of 2012 such as University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; and California State University, Fresno.

Five of the nine scholarships were available exclusively to California’s table grape field workers and their children. This included three $20,000 scholarships to four-year universities in California and two $3,500 scholarships to two-year schools (trade school, community or junior college). The remaining scholarships included four $20,000 agricultural scholarships to four-year universities in California. The four agricultural scholarships were made available to students who are planning to study agricultural business, science, technology or a related field.

“The industry’s scholarship programs show the importance that California table grape growers place on supporting education in their local communities,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the commission. “It is a long-term investment that has made a significant impact over the years.”

For over 25 years, California's table grape growers have supported their workers and their communities with the nation's first worker-focused scholarship program. The program has since awarded nearly 100 scholarships to field workers and their children from the table grape growing regions in California. Agricultural scholarships were added this year to support students pursuing careers in agriculture.

“The agricultural scholarships are an important addition to the field worker scholarships,” said Nave. “With plans to focus on areas like sustainable agriculture, hydrology and agricultural sales and marketing, these students have a clear vision of the role they want to play in shaping the future of agriculture. California table grape growers are pleased to support their efforts.”

Scholarships will be offered again next year, with applications for 2013 available in the fall of 2012. Go to www.grapesfromcalifornia.com for more details. The California Table Grape Commission was created by the California legislature in 1967 to increase worldwide demand for fresh California grapes through a variety of research and promotional programs.