EDGEFIELD, S.C. – The NWTF has awarded David Underwood, of Dimmitt, Texas, a $5,000 National FFA Collegiate Scholarship.

Underwood graduated second in his class of 65 students at Dimmitt High School and maintained a 3.85 cumulative grade-point average throughout his high schoolcareer. He plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management. To be eligible for the $5,000 National FFA Collegiate Scholarship, administered by the NWTF, applicants must support the preservation of North America’s hunting heritage, actively participate in hunting, possess strong  leadership skills and have experience working or volunteering in their community. Underwoodserved as president of his local National FFA Organization, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and National 4-H Shooting Sports’ trap shooting chapters, and was voted Best All Around by his fellow students. He also is an accomplished athlete who was team captain of his high school football team and named second-team, all-district defensive tackle. Underwood, an avid hunter who enjoys hunting with his dad and brother, participated in a Texas Brigades leadership conference as a freshman and then began speaking to groups about his passion for wildlife conservation. Throughout his high school years, he raised quail and mallard ducks from hatchlings and released them into the wild. He was also among a select group of DHS seniors chosen to participate in a Peers Assisting Leadership Skills youth program as a mentor for local elementary students. “This scholarship will help me pursue my dream career in the wildlife field,” said Underwood. “I hope to one day manage my own ranch and hunting-guide business. Involving youth will be an important part of what I do, because the future of hunting and wildlife conservation depends upon the choices they make.”

To date, the NWTF has sponsored $76,000 in National FFA Organization scholarships and provided more than $91,000 in support of other National FFA Organization activities across the country and contributed more than $146,000. ChristineRolka, NWTF education director said, “The shared commitment to support outstanding students like David Underwood has solidified our 12-year relationship with the National FFA Organization. Without question, college-bound students can count on the NWTF’s continued support of these future conservation leaders’ educational and career goals.” The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personalgrowth and career success through agricultural education. This year alone, 132 sponsors provided 1,446 scholarships totaling $1.9 million. There were morethan 8,300 total applicants.

For more information about NWTF academic scholarships, visit www.nwtf.org or email scholarshipinfo@nwtf.net.

About the NWTF: The National Wild Turkey Federation is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. A nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage, the NWTF and its volunteers work closely with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies and other partners.

Through these dynamic partnerships, the NWTF and its members helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $331 million to conserve nearly 16 million acres of habitat. Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, benefit from this improved habitat.

The NWTF also brings new conservationists and hunters into the fold through outdoor education events and its Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES youth outreach programs. Dedicated NWTF volunteers introduce about 100,000 people to the outdoors through these programs every year.

Founded in 1973, the NWTFis headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in every state and Canada. According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history.

To become a member of theNWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, visit www.nwtf.org or call 800-THE-NWTF. The NWTF is also at www.facebook.com/theNWTF.

Contact:

Melanie Swearingen at (803) 637-7634.

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