Justin Andrews, a senior at Shoreham-Wading River High School, was one of 11 finalists statewide earlier this month in a scholarship competition sponsored by the New York Farm Bureau. He was also the sole finalist from Long Island.
Andrews submitted an essay on the importance of farmland preservation to the Long Island Farm Bureau.
"My community has been subject to massive lost farmland due to development," said Andrews, 17, who did not advance in the competition. "Preserving farms would keep the local community and heritage alive and well."
In school Andrews is a member of the cross-country team and Natural Helpers, a club that mentors younger students. He works on his family's Andrews Family Farm in Wading River, which spans 30 acres and has 26 greenhouses. The farm grows flowers, fruits and vegetables and has a corn maze in the fall. Andrews said his duties range from transplanting flowers to running a farmstand.
"He will make a difference in his community, and this is just one step in that direction," said Debbie Schmitt, the LI Farm Bureau's promotion chairwoman.
Andrews also volunteers as an altar server at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Wading River.