Mountain Castles Soil and Water Conservation District awarded the $1,000 John and Hallie Seibel Scholarship to Ashley Phoenix of Lord Botetourt High School.

Sarah Harris and Mason Sowers of James River High School were the co-recipients of the Harold P. “Bubby” Entsminger Honorary Scholarship. Harris and Sowers both received $1,000.

Davis Fenster of James River High School was presented with a $1,000 scholarship from the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD), one of only five students state-wide to receive this award.

All four scholarship recipients have excellent academic records and a strong commitment to conservation.

An active member of the Lord Botetourt FFA, Phoenix served as chapter president and secretary. She has interests and experience in farming, forestry, and wildlife management.  She plans to pursue a degree in business and marketing.

Harris and Sowers have been extremely active in leadership positions for both the James River High School FFA and Botetourt County 4-H. In addition, both have demonstrated a commitment to share their agricultural knowledge and skills with the youth of Botetourt County. Harris plans to earn a degree in agriculture communications, while Sowers is considering a degree in either construction engineering or plant science.

Fenster has served as an officer in the James River High School FFA for three years, and he also served as vice president of the Virginia South Ridge Area FFA. In addition to being a successful farmer in his own right, Fenster’s passion for Virginia agriculture, especially poultry, is remarkable. He plans to pursue a degree in poultry science.

Mountain Castles SWCD annually presents a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior from each of Botetourt County’s two high schools. The VASWCD annually presents four $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors and college freshman from across Virginia.  For more information on this and other education programs, visit