SCHOLARSHIP

On January 21, 2020, by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association Scholarship Fund was established.

The fund will provide scholarships in a number established annually by the executive committee, provide a means by which the association may place funds to assist the youth of the association in continuing their education, provide for any company, group or persons to make a contribution, memorial or otherwise, to sustain the scholarship fund.  OPGMA qualifies as a 501(c)(5) organization. Donations are not tax deductible.  

All monies or other assets placed in the fund can be removed only by a written three-fourths vote of all OPGMA board members.  A sixty-day notice for the vote will be made to the board members.  The fund will be placed in a banking facility approved by the State of Ohio.

Source

The OPGMA Scholarship contributions and interest derived from deposited funds or contributions

Number to be Awarded

Based on current educational costs and the amount of money available in the scholarship fund, the Executive Committee will determine the monetary amount and number of scholarship(s) awarded for that year.  The Executive Committee will decide, no longer than the fall of the preceding year, how many scholarships will be awarded at the annual meeting or Ohio Produce Network.  

Eligibility:

· Scholarships are open to OPGMA members and their immediate family members, & OPGMA employees and their immediate family members

· The applicants must be enrolled in their last year of high school (or equivalent) OR in college–level classes.

· Recipient must attend a 4-year university of their choice or the Agricultural Technical Institution or similar institution.  Institutions of higher learning are not limited to only Ohio. 

· The recipients of the scholarship or their representative will attend the Ohio Produce Network or Annual Meeting to accept the scholarship.  Exceptions are approved by the Executive Committee. 

Criteria:

All applicants are to mail to the OPGMA one (1) copy of the documentation stated below by November 30 of the awarding year.  Failure to meet the deadline date and/or submit the stated documentation will result in the application being eliminated from consideration.

· Clearly define the relationship to the OPGMA member

· Personal letter of intent stating a sincere interest in higher education

· Official transcript to prove scholastic standing in high school or college

· Explanation of leadership opportunities and personal qualities which have been shown in school, church, community or youth groups.

· Minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation

· Proof of acceptance to an accredited institution of higher education (for freshman only)

· List of all scholarship awards received for use in the upcoming year from sources other than OPGMA

Selection Procedure

In the fall, written notice will be published in the OPGMA newsletter regarding the availability of the scholarship monies.  By January 1, the OPGMA Executive Officers will select a Scholarship Committee of volunteers that consists of 3 persons but no more than 5 of which 2 are alternates, who can be considered impartial to those who may be applying.  The OPGMA Executive Officers selection of this committee will be final and without appeal.  This committee may remain the same or be changed at the Executive Officers’ discretion from year to year.  The Scholarship Committee will make their selection(s) no later than January 1 of the awarding year.  The scholarship Committee is under no obligation to award scholarships in any amount if they determine none of the applicant’s qualify.  The decision of the Scholarship Committee is final and not open to appeal.  Notification of the committee’s selection will be sent to each applicant from the OPGMA office. 

Receiving Funds

Scholarship awards must be allocated in the same calendar year in which it is awarded.  Scholarship money must be applied to educational expenses.  Any exceptions must be approved by the OPGMA Scholarship Committee. Awards will be paid directly to the university or institution the recipient attends.   

Re-awarding

An applicant must re-activate their file by sending the Scholarship committee updated information by November 1 of the year of application. A recipient can be awarded the scholarship for a maximum of four years by reapplying each year.