The Lake County Winegrape Commission recently awarded its inaugural “Future of Agriculture” scholarship to Atlantis Jones, a senior graduating from Upper Lake High School.
The $5,000 scholarship, awarded on behalf of Lake County Winegrowers, was presented during the Upper Lake High School’s Senior Scholarship and Awards Night.
“It is so rewarding to see the positive impact that an award like this can have on a student,” said Jonathan Walters, chair of the Lake County Winegrape Commission Board of Directors. “It was a really special evening.”
The Commission’s scholarship is awarded to one deserving Lake County student who will attend a four-year university, and selection is based on academic achievement, financial need, and a demonstrated interest in agriculture.
“Lake County Winegrowers are honored to be able to give back, to support youth in our community as they further their education and pursue careers that support the agricultural industry in Lake County,” said Debra Sommerfield, president of the Lake County Winegrape Commission.
The Future of Agriculture Scholarship is the latest extension of the organization’s efforts to support and inspire high school students. The Commission collaborated with Lake County Farm Bureau to develop “Cultivate – Careers in the Winegrape Industry,” a program that introduces high school students to careers in viticulture, winemaking, marketing, and sales. Cultivate was held as an in-person seminar at Ely Stage Stop in early 2020, as a virtual video series in 2021, and as part of the First Annual Lake County Career Ag Days at the Lake County Fairgrounds in 2022.
“A big part of sustainability is growing the workforce of tomorrow,” Sommerfield said. “With these programs, we hope to contribute to both the long-term success of Lake County youth and long-term sustainability of Lake County agriculture.”
About the Lake County Winegrape Commission
Established in 1991, the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) has been instrumental in developing the Lake County region’s unwavering commitment to farming high-quality winegrapes, promoting the winegrowers’ brand, and creating greater awareness of the winegrowing region within the wine trade and among wine lovers. A state agency with efforts focused on marketing, research, and education, LCWC has launched innovative programs like Master Vigneron Academy®, the Elevation of Wine, and the International Sauvignon Blanc Symposium. For more information, visit www.lakecountywinegrape.org