A Massac countian has been added to the title holders of a new scholarship program.
Gabriel Wrye was recently crowned Illinois Ms. United States Agriculture 2021. She will represent the state for the national title in June 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
The daughter of Mary Wrye of Belknap and Robert Wrye of Metropolis, Wrye teaches Ag in the Classroom to kindergarteners through fifth-graders for the Farm Bureau. She has a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and is an assistant instructor for scuba diving at Mermet Springs.
She graduated from Joppa High School in 2016, Shawnee College in 2017 and SIU in 2019 and with her masters in 2020. She was a member of FFA all four years of high school, holding the offices of secretary her freshman year and president her sophomore, junior and senior years. She was also the FFA Section 25 Secretary her senior year. She received her FFA State Degree in 2016 and in 2017 her FFA American Degree, the most prestigious award an FFA member can receive.
Wrye, a Farm Bureau Young Leader member, lives on the family farm of her late grandparents Lacy and Anna Roberts of Massac County.
When she isn’t on the farm or in the classroom, Wrye goal is to travel the globe learning about agriculture and other cultures.
“I want to get as much information possible to help teach and show others the importance of agriculture,” she said.
She has traveled to:
• New Orleans and Memphis with SIU College of Agricultural Sciences to see how sugar was processed, how they picked cotton, learn about an alligator farm, visit the Ducks Unlimited headquarters and more.
• Canada and the state of Washington with Illinois Farm Bureau learning about the dam, dairy cows, orchards, livestock and more.
• Australia with the organization People to People learning to conserve the world by cleaning up areas and trying to keep them in better shape.
• Costa Rica, with a group from Massac County High School, where she learned about coffee beans.
While scuba diving Cuba, Bonaire and Cayman Brac with a Mermet Springs group, Wrye experienced many incredible things about each location — a rodeo in Cuba and donkeys out in the wild in Bonaire, along with helping the environment while picking up trash from the oceans and the beaches.
“Agriculture is vital to the world and how we live. Without farmers we would not be able exist. Thank you to all the farmers, gardeners and food growers!” Wrye said. “Everywhere you go in life, go with eyes open and a mind ready to learn and absorb new information,” she said.
“You would be amazed at the things you can learn if you seek the opportunities to gain knowledge. We only get one life, so enjoy it while we can, make memories and help teach others the importance of it.”
Miss Agriculture USA is a national non-profit organization started in August 2018 that is about celebrating and promoting agriculture.