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The WPGA Is offering a scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students. 

Applicants must reside within the WPGA regions of California, Arizona, New Mexico, or West Texas (the area in Texas west of the Pecos River). Application may be found at under scholarships.

The scholarship is available to individuals pursuing post-secondary education (sophomore through senior) including graduates at the time of the award. Applicants must be advancing the interests of the pecan industry, with preference given to agricultural-related degrees and a stated focus on pursuits directly related and beneficial to the western pecan industry.

Immediate family members of the WPGA Board of Directors are disqualified from applying for or receiving a scholarship from the Western Pecan Growers Association.

It is possible to be awarded up to (2) WPGA scholarships per individual.

College transcripts (official or unofficial) must be submitted with each application.

Successful candidates must have at least a 3.0 scholastic grade point average based on a 4.0 scale.

Decisions will not be based on gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural and religious background.

The scholarship award may range from $500-$2500.

Submit your application and supplemental materials by filling out your online application. Application may be found at under scholarships or at

Applications must be received on or before JULY 1, 2024, for the following fall/spring semester.

If you have any questions, you may contact us at

Graduate Scholarship Registration

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Undergraduate Scholarship Registration

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PDF Download of the rules and information

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2023 Scholarship Recipients

McKenzie Stock

WPGA 2023 Graduate Scholarship Recipient

McKenzie is a graduate student at NMSU studying pecan soil biology. She is involved in the pecan industry predominantly through her research, which focuses on fungal communities in pecan orchard soil.

Her Master's thesis research focuses on the soil mycobiome, or fungal communities, of pecan orchards throughout the Southwest and has been working on 2 projects: (1) surveying mushroom biodiversity in Southwestern pecan orchards, and (2) evaluating how the pecan orchard soil mycobiome is affected by various soil management techniques, such as cover crops, compost, and inoculants. She regularly visits growers for data collection and to learn more about various orchard management strategies.

McKenzie is a former public school educator and at New Mexico State University, has instructed the Introduction to Soils lab and developed the curriculum for that course. During her undergraduate education, she did research on groundwater contamination (published in the Journal of Environmental Engineering). She has spoken at the International Symposium on Walnut and Pecan in Grenoble, France (June 2023), the Western Pecan Growers Association Conference (March 2023), and the Arizona Pecan Growers Association Conference (August 2022).

After completing her Master's degree, McKenzie plans to continue at New Mexico State University to pursue a PhD in Plant & Environmental Science.

Jamin Miller

WPGA 2023 Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Jamin is a graduate student at NMSU and is currently researching pecan irrigation scheduling. Professors at the university have developed an online irrigation scheduling tool that has not yet been field tested and Jamin will field test this tool to assure proper function. He will also be conducting a study of adding biochar as a soil amendment to pecan orchards to measure the effect on the irrigation schedule of the pecan trees.

He plans on pursuing a career in farm management and would like to work in production agriculture, particularly on a larger scale operation that farms orchard type crops like pecans and/or other nut crops. He plans on using the knowledge and experience he gains through his master's program to be more able to make educated decisions in farm management.

Jamin’s father is a pecan grower in Georgia.

2022 Scholarship Recipients

Paul Gabriel

WPGA 2022 Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Meet Paul Gabriel, a Molecular Biology/ Pecan Root Microbiome Graduate Student at New Mexico State University. Paul’s research will concentrate “on the influence of soil microbiome on the nutrient and water uptake of pecan tree roots since they lack root hairs. Different orchard floor treatments are applied to monitor the shift in root zone microbial population and abundance of the beneficial microbial population. Here, the horticultural and tree health outcomes would be used to measure the efficient nutrient and water acquisition from the various orchard floor treatments and microbial inoculation. Likewise, the symbiotic activities of these microbes and pecan trees would be evaluated based on their leaves’ physical and chemical characteristics. Both molecular and microscopy approaches would be used to monitor the microbiome changes over a given period. Since many concerns of pecan farmers center on the reduced use of chemical fertilizers and how to improve pecan water uptake, this research would be a solution to these growing concerns.”

McKenzie Stock

WPGA 2022 Graduate Scholarship Recipient

I am a Master’s student at NMSU studying Plant & Environmental Science at ACES College. I am also a researcher in Dr. Nicole Pietrasiak’s Lab. I want to focus my thesis on mycorrhizal fungi in the pecan orchard soils in the Southwest. I start learning about the pecan industry by attending the WPGA conference, and I am excited to continue learning. 

I am originally from Michigan, where my grandfather is a cattle rancher and farmer. Agriculture is near and dear to my heart, as is science. I have published research in the Journal of Environmental Engineering and done soil science research on coffee farms in Southern Ecuador. 

Zachery Martin

WPGA 2022 Undergrad Scholarship Recipient

Before graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree from New Mexico Military Institute Junior College in Business Administration and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May 2021, Zachary was influenced by his Grandfather’s passion for pecan farming. During his time at New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell, New Mexico. He volunteered as a ranch hand for the Diamond T out of Hondo, NM, while attending classes from the ranch. Working in ranching during the pandemic has awakened an interest in agriculture. Currently, Zachary is attending New Mexico State University as an undergrad. His field of study is in Agricultural Business Administration. Zac is also part of the NM National Guard Reserves and NMSU ROTC and is a Maintenance Officer assigned to the NM Army National Guard in Santa Fe.

Alex Armijo

WPGA 2022 Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Meet Alex Armijo a Graduate Student at New Mexico State University. His research focuses on “three species of pecan aphids (yellow complex and black pecan aphid) and what cultural practices influence aphid populations throughout the growing season. He also focuses on economic and physical damage” left by aphids in the Southwest.

Another study he is involved with concerns black pecan aphids and novel approaches to managing and controlling this pest. According to Alex, this study utilizes “OMRI-labeled formulations to find a new management approach that would benefit both organic and conventional growers in the Mesilla Valley.”

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