Nine students pursuing college and graduate studies connected to careers in Delmarva’s chicken industry will receive scholarships through the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. College Scholarship Program.

Eight of the recipients will attend undergraduate colleges in the fall and will receive $2,000 scholarships. The ninth recipient, a graduate student, will be awarded a $4,000 scholarship. In total, DPI is awarding $20,000 in scholarships in 2018.

Altogether, this year’s group of applicants attend or will matriculate in more than a dozen colleges and universities around the country. They are pursuing a wide range of majors, from business to engineering to agriculture.

Students to receive scholarships:

— Bridget Barrett, of Lewes, who graduated from Sussex Technical High School and is attending West Virginia University. Barrett’s studies are in the field of industrial engineering, and she said she hopes to return to Delmarva and work in processing plants, implementing ways to reduce waste, trim costs and improve worker safety.

— Christopher Clifton, of Bridgeville, who will transfer to Salisbury University later this summer. Clifton is preparing for a career in teaching English as a second language, and he said he hopes to teach people employed in the chicken industry, helping English and Spanish speakers communicate better, improving employee retention.

— Ryan Duncan, of Berlin, Maryland, a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School. After enrolling in a high school pre-engineering program, Duncan became interested in following a mechanical engineering track in college. He hopes to embark on a career applying engineering solutions to the chicken industry, including in delivering vaccines to chicks.

— Jenell Eck, of Henderson, Maryland, who plans to graduate from the University of Delaware with a double major in agricultural and natural resources and communications. Eck’s family raises chickens in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, and she has already assumed the role of “agvocate,” interning in agricultural marketing and serving as Miss Maryland Agriculture. She has also represented young farmers in the Queen Anne’s County Farm Bureau.

— Sarah Howard, of Galena, Maryland, who is attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, seeking a degree in applied agricultural management. Howard grew up on a chicken farm; and after graduation, she hopes to work for an animal science firm, concentrating in marketing or management.

— Annette Kenney, of Marion, Maryland, who is a graduate student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore pursuing a master’s degree, concentrating on plant and soil science. Kenney’s master’s thesis explores whether fresh produce can be safely grown with poultry litter or other animal manures, applied as a fertilizer source. Wherever her career takes her, she says she will focus on food safety and education. As an undergraduate at UMES, Kenney worked with Somerset County chicken growers to implement environmentally responsible practices. As a graduate student, Kenney will receive a $4,000 scholarship from DPI.

— Maria Morelli, of Delmar, who will enroll at the University of Delaware, focused on a pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences major. She hopes to pursue a career in poultry science, helping the chicken industry find cures for poultry diseases that can threaten whole flocks and hurt chicken growers’ livelihoods. Morelli is also involved in the national Future Farmers of America organization and convention.

— Cody Morris, of Parsonsburg, Maryland, who attends the University of Maryland College Park and is pursuing a degree in agribusiness and agronomy. Like many scholarship applicants, Morris grew up on a chicken farm and help his family operate the farm from a young age. He hopes to use his college education to help chicken growers be more profitable, by streamlining maintenance tasks and monitoring their flocks’ health.

— Katelyn Tworig, of Magnolia, who is graduating from Caesar Rodney High School and will enroll in the University of Delaware, pursuing a degree in pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences. Tworig hopes to go on to veterinary school and enter a career caring for chickens on Delmarva. She has volunteered at animal shelters and veterinary hospitals and has been involved with Future Farmers of America in high school.

Since 1985, DPI has awarded more than $128,000 through its College Scholarship Program. The scholarships are funded by DPI’s College Scholarship Golf Tournament, taking place June 6 at Green Hill Country Club near Quantico, Maryland.