The Elmer Holder Memorial Scholarship is a $300 scholarship and is awarded annually to a Cumberland County student who is attending Tennessee Technological University and majoring in some field of agriculture. Elmer Holder served as District Conservationist with the USDA Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service) in Cumberland County until his accidental death in 1980. The scholarship, which is administered by the Cumberland County Soil Conservation District (SCD) Board of Supervisors, was established as a memorial to Mr. Holder for his contribution and dedication to the conservation of the natural resources in Cumberland County. This year the SCD Board awarded the scholarship to Colton McClanahan.
Colton is the son of Janson and Nancy McClanahan. He graduated with High Honors from Stone Memorial High School in 2011 and is currently attending Tennessee Tech University majoring in Agribusiness Management.
During his high school career, Colton was the 2011 Senior Class president, treasurer of the Student Council Treasurer and Beta Club. His FFA activities included public speaking, Ag mechanics, soil judging, quiz bowl, and Envirothon. Colton excelled in livestock judging where he was 2011 State FFA Livestock Judging Contest 1st High Individual and he was a member of the Gold Emblem Livestock Team at the 2011 National FFA Livestock Judging Contest.
His high school FFA awards include Star Greenhand, Star Chapter Farmer, Brian Green Memorial Scholarship and Outstanding Ag Student of the Year for Cumberland County.
After high school, Colton attended Roane State Community College for a year and then transferred to TTU last fall. Colton’s collegiate activities include membership in the TTU Block and Bridle Club and the Delta Tau Alpha Agriculture Honor Society. He is continuing his FFA career at Tennessee Tech where he serves a treasurer of the Collegiate FFA and has been elected to serve as the 2013-2014 Tennessee FFA Association state treasurer. There hasn’t been an FFA state officer from Cumberland County since the 1960s and everyone is very proud of Colton for this accomplishment.
Colton’s Collegiate FFA advisor, Dr. Billye Foster, said, “Colton McClanahan is the type of student most professors line up to work with. Not only is he intelligent, hard-working and dependable, he actually will take the lead to see things happen as needed!”
Colton is an active member of the First United Methodist Church and has volunteered for Operation Christmas Child, American Red Cross Blood Drive and the Second Harvest Food Bank Drive.
He is the farm manager of Lyn-Nan Farm where he works with his father and brother, Matthew. Together they are continuing the legacy left to them by Colton’s grandfather, Claude Little, which is continuing to produce top quality purebred Polled Hereford cattle.
The NRCS/SCD office was very fortunate to have Colton work as a summer intern in 2011 through a Summer Youth Worker Program with the Tennessee Career Center. NRCS District Conservationist Phillip Dixon said, “Colton is an outstanding young man who exhibits a strong desire to preserve our natural resources.“ Dixon further commented that “it is very hard to find a young man with such integrity and determination. I certainly hope his future career interests include a possible career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.”
Maxine Holder, Elmer’s widow, was on hand to assist with the presentation of the scholarship. Colton was unable to attend the awards dinner due to his duties as Tennessee’s State FFA treasurer but his parents accepted the scholarship for him.
The Cumberland County SCD Board of Supervisors is very proud to be able to award the scholarships to these deserving individuals. All programs and services of the Cumberland County Soil Conservation District (SCD) are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or handicap.