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Upper Cumberland Angus Association Offering Annual Scholarship

Tommy Burks Memorial Scholarship

Sponsored by Upper Cumberland Angus Association

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. The scholarship program would not be possible without the gracious bred heifer donation from a member each year.

The goal for the scholarship program is to give financial assistance to students who are the future of our industry for advancing their education and starting their careers. The scholarships are open to students entering college or vocational school, 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 $1,000 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 29, 2024 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 (April 26, 2024) before the UCAA Spring Time Select Sale April 27, 2024 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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