California’s fresh grape growers are offering applications for the 2011 California Table Grape Workers Scholarship program. Three $16,000 scholarships to any four-year California college or university are available to California’s table grape field workers and their immediate families.

The application deadline is Friday, March 11, 2011. Applicants must be 2011 graduating high school seniors or high school graduates who wish to continue their education.

The industry’s scholarship program was created in 1985 as the first field worker scholarship of its kind. To date, the program has helped send more than 90 students to some of the top colleges in California. Last year’s scholarship recipients are now full-time students at UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara studying biology, engineering and psychology. The funds awarded help cover the cost of tuition, books and other college-related expenses.

“California's fresh grape farmers have long recognized the importance of supporting the communities where they live and work,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission. “Throughout the San Joaquin and Coachella valleys, table grape growers volunteer their time and service for associations, boards and charitable organizations. The scholarship program is another way they show support for the rural communities in which they live.”

The California Table Grape Workers Scholarship program is open to table grape field workers and their immediate family members only. Workers and immediate family members of wine, raisin, or other commodity crops will not qualify.

Applications are available through employers. In addition, information is available to qualified students through high school counselors, and applications can be found and are ready for download on the commission website at grapesfromcalifornia.com.