Scholarships available for students

Published 6:18 am Thursday, January 12, 2017

A variety of scholarships are available from the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs (VFGC) to deserving Virginia college students majoring in any garden-related subject in an accredited college or university.

Funding for scholarships is derived from many sources, including life memberships, donations and established endowments. Judging of recipients for the scholarships is based on need, scholastic record, character, initiative and general attitude. Applicants must be full-time students majoring in agriculture, education, horticulture, floriculture, landscape design, botany, plant pathology/science, forestry, agronomy, environmental concerns or conservation, habitat or forest/systems ecology, land management and/or other garden-related or allied subjects.

Career goals must demonstrate objectives that are garden-related. Applicants must be residents of Virginia and must be enrolled in an accredited college or university. Applications may be made by sophomores to be awarded for the junior year. High school seniors may apply for The President’s Horticultural Scholarship to be awarded for the freshmen year.

Email newsletter signup

The VFGC Scholarship amounts are determined by the VFGC board of directors. A student may re-apply for more than one year. Applications must be received by Feb. 1. Scholarship award recipients are notified in May and scholarships are paid out in July/August for fall semester of the application year.

Applications and inquiries should be submitted to Valerie Virkler, VFGC Scholarship Chairman, 1955 Slatesville Road, Chatham, Va. 24531, or email

Visit for more information.

Is starting a new business one of your New Year’s resolutions? The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Longwood University, 315 W. Third St., in Farmviile, is offering a free start up assistance program on Thursday 9-11 a.m. 

Co-sponsors are: Longwood SBDC, George Mason University, Virginia Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Most of the one million new businesses that start up each year fail because of a lack of planning. This free seminar will provide information that may help your business be among the 20 percent that survive and thrive.

Prepare to start a successful business by evaluating your entrepreneurial abilities, marketing strategies, financial resources, legal forms of organization and receive tips to prepare and present your business plan. The speaker is Kim Ray, business analyst and training coordinator, Longwood SBDC.

For more information, call (434) 395-2086 or register at

Local extension offices are offering information about a New Vineyard Development Cost-Share Program that is now accepting applications.

Administered in partnership of the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Vineyards Association, the project is supported by a grant from the commonwealth of Virginia’s Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

The cost-share program will provide financial reimbursement to approved applicants for up to a third of qualifying expenditures (e.g., grape vines, trellising, irrigation systems and deer fencing) for installing of new vineyards, not to exceed $3,000 per acre and limited to a maximum of $15,000 for 1-9 acres.

For more than 9 acres, also a third of qualifying expenditures on the acreage exceeding 9 acres, not to exceed $3,000 for each additional acre, with a maximum cost-share of $20,000, is available.

New vineyards must install at least five new acres of vineyard to be eligible for funding. The application due date is Feb. 15. For more information, contact your local extension office.

Janet Miller is a writer, painter and retired educator. Her email address is