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From left are Dr. Todd Winters, Dean of Agriculture at UTM; Nick Carpenter; Dan Strasser, Tennessee Council of Cooperatives Representative; and Dr. Joey Mehlhorn, professor, Agricultural Economics at UTM.

The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC) recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Nicholas Carpenter of Crossville. Nick is a student at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) and is the son of Alan Carpenter. He is a junior working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Communications. 

After graduation, Nick is planning on accepting his commission in the U.S. Army with intention to be an Active Duty Aviation officer. He hopes to enter the agricultural communications and logistics industry. He is currently employed at the UTM Skyhawk Battalion in Martin and is a member of the UTM ROTC, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Vice President of College Republicans. Nick’s agriculture background includes beekeeping and raising cattle and chickens. 

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 $1,000 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. 

For more information about Tennessee cooperatives, the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives or the TCC scholarship, contact Roberta Smith, TCC Administrative Secretary, at 423-447-2121 or via e-mail to smithr@bledsoe.net. For more information about Tennessee cooperatives, the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives or the TCC scholarship, please visit the TCC Web site at http://tennesseecouncilofcoops.org/.

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