HARRISBURG For the 33rd year, the Pennsylvania Livestock Association (PLA) awarded outstanding Pennsylvania 4-H and FFA youth with scholarships at the Keystone International Livestock Exposition Opening Ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and PLA member Michael Firestine presented a $250 scholarships to four members. Among the recipients was Luke Graver, son of Paul and Diane Miller-Graver of Lehighton, and the brother of Christiania who received the award in 2005.
A nine-year member of the Carbon County 4-H Livestock club, Graver has raised and shown market hogs, market lambs, steers and breeding beef, and this year, he is the owner-breeder of all his 4-H projects. He also serves on his county's 4-H Development Committee board.
Graver is a member of the National Junior Swine Association and National Junior Angus, Shorthorn and Red Angus associations. He has exhibited his animals at local fairs, the Pennsylvania Farm Show and KILE. He also helps at his grandparents' farm and country store.
A senior at Lehighton Area High School, he has been involved in chorus since fifth grade, is a member of the Project Humanity Club helping with soup kitchens, and is a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and Big Creek Grange.
Graver plans to study agribusiness management and education at Penn State and credits 4-H for helping mold him into the person he is today, saying he 'bleeds green and white," the 4-H colors.
The 53rd Keystone International Livestock Exposition runs Sept. 28 Oct. 4 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. This will feature more than 4,000 animals and 1,200 exhibitors from 30 states and Canada. For more information, visit www.keystoneinternational.state.pa.us  or call (717) 787-2905.