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The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC) recently awarded a $750 scholarship to Robert A. Warden of Fayetteville.
Warden is a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) and is the son of Larry and Cathy Warden.
He is a junior working toward a bachelor’s degree in bio-systems engineering. After graduation, Warden is planning to work in the field of environmental consulting or biofuel. He serves as an ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and recently worked as an intern with the U.S. Army, working with bio-fuels certification.
The TCC is a nonprofit organization established to promote the cooperative form of business through education and promotion of all types of cooperatives. TCC has two types of membership including “parent cooperatives” and “individual cooperatives.”
The TCC is made up of member representatives from various cooperative organizations in Tennessee. The total TCC membership is 60 members consisting of eight parent cooperatives and 52 individual cooperatives, including 19 electric cooperatives, 29 Tennessee Farmer Co-ops, five telephone cooperatives, three financial institutions, two milk cooperatives, one tobacco cooperative and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. Leadership for TCC is provided by 13 voting board members and six ex-officio members.
The TCC sponsors six college scholarships for agricultural students from each of Tennessee’s four-year agriculture programs: Austin Peay State University; Middle Tennessee State University; Tennessee Technological University; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; the University of Tennessee, Martin; and Tennessee State University.
The scholarship program, started in 1984, is an effort to acknowledge and aid the young people most likely to return to communities served by rural cooperatives. TCC considers the scholarships an investment in the future of cooperatives and their leadership. Several scholarship recipients from the past currently serve in one of Tennessee’s cooperatives or in one of the state’s agriculture-related agencies which work with, support and help build cooperative businesses.
To be considered for the $750 scholarship, the student must be a citizen of Tennessee; enrolled in a college of agriculture; maintain an overall grade point average of 2.5 out of a possible 4 points; and, if possible, be in his or her junior year of study.