Two graduate students, Josh Ison and Ariel Overstreet Adkins, have been presented with W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2014-15 school year by the National Cattlemen's Foundation.
Each $12,000 award recognizes superior achievement in academics and leadership, and will allow the students to further their study in fields that benefit the cattle and beef industry, the Foundation says.
The awards were presented Thursday at the 2014 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, Colo. They recognize outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in meat science and animal agriculture.
W.D. Farr was the first president of the National Cattlemen's Foundation, and served as president of the American National Cattlemen's Association, which would later become the NCBA. His career spanned 75 years and included innovations in cattle feeding, uniform beef grading, water conservation and banking. Farr died at age 97 in August 2007.
Josh Ison of Batavia, Ohio, a Ph.D. student in Animal Science at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The focus of Ison's studies is food safety and public health epidemiology, with graduate research focusing on the burden of Salmonella in cattle populations.
Ison plans a 2015 trip to France to conduct a study of antimicrobial resistant Salmonella to help U.S. regulatory agencies in making informed decisions to address pathogen surveillance and antibiotic resistance in food animal production systems. He intends to use his education and leadership skills in a career in food safety within the beef industry.
Ison received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Morehead State University in 2011, and his Master of Science in food science from Texas Tech University in 2013. Since 2011 he has been a graduate research assistant in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech.
Ariel Overstreet-Adkins of Big Timber, Mont., a law student at the University of Montana School of Law in Missoula, Mont. Expecting to graduate in 2016, Overstreet-Adkins had the 3rd highest GPA in her class of 83 after her first semester.
By obtaining her law degree, Overstreet-Adkins intends to help ensure the continued influence of agriculture and rural America, improving the legal, policy and business climate for American farmers and ranchers. Her focus will be on natural resource and environmental law, especially water law from an agricultural perspective.
Overstreet-Adkins received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in cultural anthropology from Princeton University in 2006. For the five years prior to law school she worked for the Montana Stockgrowers Association in charge of the association's communications efforts and serving as a lobbyist at the Montana legislature for three sessions to help advocate for Montana ranchers.