Looks like Long Island has done it again! For the second straight year, a local student has won the NY Farm Bureau Scholarship.
Justin Bakewicz, a senior at Rocky Point High School, won first place in the statewide competition, edging out 10 other finalists from across the state to win the recognition -- and a $1,500 scholarship. Last year, Jessica Anson of Yaphank took the honor.
"Does it mean anything to have two in a row? Absolutely," Kristina Sidor, Promotion & Education Chairperson for Long Island Farm Bureau, said about Long Island's winning streak. "I think a statement is being made about Long Island's agricultural industry; that we are strong, viable and growing to the point that our future generations are realizing the importance of farming. It also means we are doing our job in promoting the industry among the young farmer generations and we are cultivating their interests in the industry and ensuring they have the tools they need to become our future leaders."
Justin, it turns out, has farming in his blood: His family owns Hank's Pumpkintown in Southampton and Kraszewski Farms in Water Mill. And Justin owns and operates his own landscape, maintenance and snow removal company. He also is interested in hunting and offers local hunting guides to anyone who wants to learn the ropes.
Justin has been accepted to SUNY Cobleskill, where he will major in agricultural equipment technology.