STARS (Southeast Top Agricultural Recruits Scholarship) is the Southeast Produce Council’s scholarship program available to outstanding students who are agriculture majors in Southeast-based land grant universities. The goal of STARS is to recruit top students and to introduce them to job opportunities in the produce industry.

Participating Universities

University of Florida Application

  • Questions regarding the STARS program at the University of Florida should be directed to Ms. Christy Chiarelli.

University of Georgia Application

  • Questions regarding the STARS program at the University of Georgia should be directed to Dana Nash.

LSU College of Agriculture Application

  • Questions regarding the STARS program at Louisiana State University should be directed to Dr. Don Labonte.

Clemson University Application

  • Questions regarding the STARS program at Clemson University should be directed to Margaret Owens, 864-276-7245.

NC State University

  • Questions regarding the STARS program at NC State should be directed to Chris Cammarene-Wessel.

Virginia Tech

  • Questions regarding the STARS program at Virginia Tech should be directed to Cynthia Beatty.

Application Process

Ideal candidates are rising seniors in undergraduate majors related to the growing and marketing of produce and related products. Minimum 3.2 GPA or higher. Additionally, it is preferred that students have demonstrated an interest in growing and/or marketing of produce.

Majors include:

  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Agricultural Education and Communication
  • Agricultural Operations Management
  • Botany (Plant Biologist)
  • Entomology and Nematology
  • Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Food and Resource Economics
  • Horticultural Science
  • Plant Science
  • Soil and Water Science
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition

Scholarship recipients will be expected to attend the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure Conference & Expo in Tampa, FL. The Southeast Produce Council will cover travel expenses to this event. The scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to meet with over two hundred produce industry grower/shippers as well as the nation’s leading retailers and foodservice distributors.

STARS Class of 2017

Clemson University

Carson Buzhardt
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Meaghan Shaughnessy
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North Carolina State

Molly Pershing
Food Science & Nutrition, Soil Science
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Jacob Rutz
Plant & Soil Science, Crop Science
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University of Georgia

Mara McGurl
Agricultural Communication
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Samantha Strickland
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Louisiana State University

Caroline Blanchard
Plant and Soil Systems
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Russ Sonnier
Plant and Soil Systems
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University of Florida

Steve Montalvo
Plant Genetics
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Luis Salazar
Plant Science
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VA Tech

John di Stefano
Food Science & Technology
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William Shelburne
Landscape Contracting
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