Rushville Student is 2017 Empire State Potato Growers Scholar


Karen Luong of Rushville, NY, has been named the 2017 Empire State Potato Growers Scholarship winner and will receive a $500 scholarship per academic year for up to four consecutive years of agricultural education at a college in New York State. She will be recognized at the Ag Leadership Luncheon at Empire Farm Days on Wednesday, August 9 at Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY.

Karen will begin her pursuit of a degree in plant science with a concentration in plant pathology at the Cornell University School of Integrative Plant Science this fall.

Karen is a graduate of Marcus Whitman High School. She received her FFA American Degree at the 90th National FFA Convention. She served as Horticulture Club president at Finger Lakes Community College, where she participated in the Women’s Initiative on Leadership program, was a member of several Christian fellowships, and graduated with an Associates of Applied Science degree in Horticulture.

As a 2016 Summer Research Scholar at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Karen evaluated parthenocarpy, the ability of plants to produce fruit without pollination. Her project focused on summer squash varieties and she presented her work at a summer scholars poster session.

In addition to being the 2017 Empire State Potato Growers Association Scholarship winner, Karen is also a SUNY Chancellor Award for Student Excellence recipient.

“The Empire State Potato Growers are pleased to recognize Karen Luong with our 2017 scholarship award in honor of her interest in advancing the science and knowledge of the horticultural production in New York State,” said Empire State Potato Growers Scholarship Committee Chairman Andrew Pryputniewicz.

The annual Ag Leadership Luncheon program at Empire Farm Days includes remarks from representatives with Farm Credit East, American Agriculturist magazine, and Empire Farm Days, and presentations of the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management Award, and Empire State Potato Growers Association Scholarship.

Empire Farm Days is the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeastern U.S. The August 8-10, 2017 event will cover 300-plus acres with exhibits, field demonstrations, equipment, live animals, educational seminars, test driving, and rural life and safety booths. Parking is $10 per vehicle. Learn more at



Recent past ESPGA scholarship winners include:

  • Cassandra Proctor, Tompkins County, 2016
  • Jacob Rathbun, Ontario County, 2015
  • Ashley Willits, Lewis County, 2014
  • Michael Murphy, Steuben County, 2013
  • Ryan Willits, Lewis County, 2012.


  • Empire Farm Days Manager Melanie Wickham, 585-526-5356
  • Publicist Kara Lynn Dunn, 315-465-7578,