Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association


2019 DCSWGA Youth Scholarship Application

Download the new scholarship application: 2019ScholarshipApp_DCSWGA


Congratulations to Jessica Ruger, the 2018 Scholarship Winner!

My name is Jessica Rugar, I am eighteen years old and am currently a high school senior in Millbrook High school. I am currently in the Bridging Program at Dutchess Community College. This means that I am taking soley college level classes during my High School senior year. I will be attending Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and will be double majoring in Baking and Pastry and Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship. Raising sheep has been a very important aspect of my life for the past nine years. It has taught me about responsibility, and the hard work and the determination it takes to reach my goals. Since then, I have been very active in the sheep community of Dutchess County. I was the Sheep and Wool Ambassador for Dutchess County for two years (2016-2017). During that time I participated in the Ag-literacy program, which consisted of reading to elementary schools about agriculture, including sheep, apples and grapes. I also visited local daycares and preschools with a bottle lamb. Currently along with my sheep I am working two jobs in the food industry. The first is at the Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club as a prep and line cook. This has given me varied experience, and has allowed me to work in a fast paced environment. The second job is at the Me-Oh-My Cookie Company. I believe that these jobs give me unique and helpful insight into what I am to expect in the future.


Congratulations to Claire Burnett, the 2014 Scholarship Winner!

ClaireBurnett_UseBigClaire grew up on a family farm with many different species of animals, however raising sheep is what she enjoys the most. Claire started showing sheep when she was
4 years old. She went from showing at the Dutchess County Fair to now showing all over the country including the North East Youth Sheep Show,
All-American Junior Sheep Show, The
Big-E, Harrisburgh and at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY.

INSETclaire_burnett_2011showAs a student at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, NY, Claire was active in the Student Government and served as the student body president during her senior year. In addition, she rowed for the Varsity Crew Team for six years where her boat made it to Nationals three of those years. She has started her freshman year of college at Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma where she is studying Agricultural Leadership. She is also on the Livestock Judging Team for the college.

Claire thoroughly enjoys being involved in all aspects of agriculture and hopes to pursue a career in agriculture, marketing and promotions of agricultural events.


Clayton Stephens

Congratulations to Clayton Stephens, the 2013 Scholarship Winner!

Hi, my name is Clayton Stephens, I am 18 years old and live in Clinton Corners, NY. My family has been raising sheep and promoting lamb in the Hudson Valley for the better part of 15 years. Growing up with my sister, Meagan, in the Southern Shepherds 4-H Sheep Club has afforded me many educational opportunities in the sheep industry. I have exhibited market lambs as well as breeding sheep at the county, state and national level while building my own flock of Registered Shropshires. I have participated in every sheep and wool festival in some capacity which I feel has allowed me to network with industry leaders and develop public relations and marketing skills. My other interests are showing hogs and beef cattle. I have attended several regional and national leadership conferences through my involvement with the National Junior Swine Association. I have traveled extensively with my dad for the farm he works for promoting and exhibiting Belted Galloway Cattle and have been involved with the Belted Galloway Junior Association. 

I graduated from Pine Plains High School in June of 2013 where I was a member of the Junior Varsity Basketball Team and the FFA Chapter. My FFA career allowed me many leadership opportunities one of which was to attend the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. on two separate occasions. I have received many proficiency awards through FFA one being the Sheep Proficiency Award. I am representing Pine Plains FFA this year at the National FFA Convention to compete in the Job Interview contest. 

I currently attend Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa Oklahoma, where I am studying Animal Science with plans to turn it into an Ag Leadership Degree.




The purpose of the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association Scholarship is to help our Hudson Valley youth further their education with a preference to those pursuing a field of study related to agriculture, although any major may be considered. Only studies at undergraduate, fully accredited two or four-year colleges, universities or technical schools are acceptable.