Only four HOPE Scholarships awarded nationally 

NEW SHARON — It was recently announced that Kristen Davis is one of four recipients across the United States to receive a 2016 Horizon Organic Producer Education Scholarship. Two of the four recipients were from Maine.

The $2,500 award encourages young people to pursue careers in the organic food community.

The scholarship program began in 2007 to support the next generation of organic leaders. Horizon was the first national organic dairy brand to offer such a program.

Kristen grew up on Silver Valley Farm. The farm is owned and operated by her father, James Davis, and her uncle, Richard Davis. They have shipped milk to Horizon Organic for nine years.

Kristen and her family also show their registered Holstein and Brown Swiss cattle. Her family will take the animals to Bangor State Fair on Friday. 

On Wednesday morning, Kristen took time out from washing and clipping animals to talk about her scholarship.

A graduate of Mt. Blue High School, Kristen is a member of the Franklin County 4-H Club, where she served as president. She was also named the 2015 Maine Dairy Princess.

Kristen will be attending Husson University in Bangor, studying mass media with a focus on marketing and communications.

It is a four-year program, she said.

Future plans include promoting organic agriculture.

Kristen said HOPE Scholarship applicants must be from farm families who ship milk to Horizon Organic. As part of the application, she also had to write an essay on “how to better organic agriculture.”

Bob Scowcroft, former executive director of Organic Farming Research Foundation, said that Kristen is “honest in her appraisal of not pursuing organic farming directly, but clearly looking at a key piece of the future of organic by studying marketing and communications.”

Kristen will move to Bangor on Aug. 27 to begin her studies. 

For more information on Horizon Organic, visit www.horizon.com.

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