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Tommy Burks Memorial Scholarship Applications Available

Updated: Dec 8, 2022


The Tommy Burks Memorial Scholarship is in honor of the late Tennessee State Senator, Mr. Tommy Burks, who was also a full-time cattle, tobacco, and hay farmer from eastern Putnam County. Mr. Burks did a lot to advance farm families and agriculture during his time serving in the Tennessee Legislature for 28 years. The Hyder-Burks Pavilion at Tennessee Tech University, where the Upper Cumberland Angus Association Annual Spring Time Select Sale and meeting is held, was dedicated in his honor as well as Mr. Clyde Hyder. The scholarship program was first started back in 2001 when UCAA board member Neal Richardson, of Lancing, TN, donated a yearling heifer to be auctioned off during the UCAA Spring Time Select Cattle Sale where the proceeds of the heifer went toward a scholarship. From then on, the program took off and now the UCAA awards multiple scholarships each year to outstanding, deserving students in the agriculture industry.


Besides the heifer, local businesses donate merchandise and services, semen companies donate semen, and local coops and feed stores donate tons of feed to be auctioned off in a live auction during the UCAA annual meeting and banquet the Friday night before the UCAA Spring Time Select Cattle Sale on Saturday. On Saturday, the donated bred heifer leads off the UCAA Spring Time Select Sale which is a high-quality, member-consigned, female sale.


Our goal for the scholarship program is to give assistance to the future of our industry in getting started furthering their education and starting their careers. The scholarships are open to entering college freshman, enrolled college students, or graduate students who are pursuing a career in agriculture. An emphasis will be given to students enrolling in Tennessee Tech University, however, it is open to other schools. Each scholarship award will be for a one-year period and each scholarship winner will receive between $500 and $2,000.


Scholarship Requirements:

1. Each candidate must have a proven interest in Agriculture.

2. Satisfactory academic performances in current scholastic pursuits.

3. Be a Tennessee resident.

Application Requirements:

1. Essay

  • Background in Agriculture

  • Career goals and ambitions

  • In what financial way will this scholarship help you attain these career goals

2. All contact information must be provided: name, address, phone number, email, and birthdate

3. Two letters of reference

4. Copy of most recent transcript; High School Seniors need to include a copy of ACT or SAT test scores

5. Community Involvement

6. Agricultural Involvement

7. Leadership Roles

Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


Completed applications and other paperwork must be postmarked by February 28, 2023 and mailed to:

Kristen Brown

UCAA Scholarship Committee

9402 Spring Creek Rd

Cookeville, TN 38506


After all applications have been evaluated, all applicants will be notified via email whether they received a scholarship or not, and if they did the amount they received.


The scholarship will be presented to the successful applicants at the Upper Cumberland Angus Association annual banquet held on the Friday night before the UCAA Spring Time Select sale (date will be in April), at the Hyder-Burks Arena, TTU, Cookeville, TN, and recipients are required to attend. Checks will be made out jointly to the recipient and the school they are attending.


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