The Upper Cumberland Angus Association (UCAA) is sponsoring the 20th annual Tommy Burks Memorial Scholarship. 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. We would not be able to have this scholarship program without the gracious bred heifer donation from our members each year.
The goal of the Upper Cumberland Angus Association 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.
Applications are available on the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association website, in the January issue of the Tennessee Cattle Business magazine, and from the UCAA scholarship committee. Applications are due February 28, 2022.