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The Department of Agriculture and Fort Valley State University, recently awarded a St. Croix student an academic scholarship to study agricultural science at FSVU commencing January 2012. Lucas LaPlace, a 2009 graduate of St. Croix Educational Complex, was selected to attend FVSU as part of an ongoing collaboration between DOA and the university, to advance agricultural development in the territory. The scholarship will cover LaPlace’s cost of tuition, and dormitory accommodations for a maximum of four years in support of studies leading to a bachelor of science degree.
Commissioner of Agriculture Louis E. Petersen, Jr., expressed his appreciation to his colleagues at FVSU – particularly Mark Latimore, associate vice president for Land Grant Affairs and FVSU President Larry E. Rivers.

In 2009, FVSU launched the Young Farmers Training Program in collaboration with DOA, exposing 10 young adults from the territory to professional opportunities in the wide field of agriculture through four weeks of intensive classroom instruction and practical exercises. LaPlace participated and successfully completed the four-week program; as a result he decided to seek a career in agriculture.