Syngenta announced that Katie McKenna, a freshman at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, is the 2013 recipient of the $5,000 Syngenta Potato Scholarship. McKenna, a biology major and member of 4-H, has strong ties to agriculture.
“Katie’s essay showed her understanding of the unique challenges of the potato industry and offered extremely creative solutions,” Syngenta Crop Portfolio Lead Steve Gomme said. “Her initiative will take her far in her educational journey and beyond.”
As a native of Mapleton, Maine—the heart of potato production—McKenna has served as a harvest worker for several years and developed a deep appreciation for the potato industry.
“I hope to use my degree to help others through missionary and humanitarian projects involving medicine and agriculture.” says McKenna. “The impact of the scholarship reaches far beyond me, and I am thankful for Syngenta’s support.”
Scholarship recipients were judged on their responses to the following essay question: How can the potato industry build and sustain consumer demand for potatoes? McKenna’s response proposed unique ideas that included promoting potato consumption to specific communities and creating awareness campaigns about potatoes’ nutritional benefits.
“By reminding the general population of the health benefits rather than detriments of potato products, the industry could be built and sustained,” McKenna says.
Scholarship judging was conducted by an industry panel with representation from: Spudman, the United States Potato Board, the National Potato Council, Potato Grower, and Syngenta.