Highlighting youth in agriculture: Laurel Gray, NC Farm Bureau R. Flake Shaw Scholarship Recipient

by | Aug 4, 2021

Laurel Gray is a recent North Iredell High School graduate who will be attending N.C. State University to study Agricultural Business Management. She is one of twelve students that received a R. Flake Shaw Scholarship from N.C. Farm Bureau.

The R. Flake Shaw Scholarship awards students pursuing higher education in an agriculture-related discipline. To receive this award, students must intend to pursue a career in agriculture or other related field, have satisfactory grades and display leadership potential. Laurel was honored to receive a scholarship from N.C. Farm Bureau, an organization that her family has always been deeply involved in.

“It was an honor to receive a scholarship from an organization that has meant so much to me over the past couple of years.”

Laurel’s future aspirations in agriculture can be attributed to her agricultural upbringing. Her family owns and operates Grayhouse Farms, a dairy farm in Stony Point. She started contributing to the farm at a very early age. At five years old, she started showing cows and has been showing ever since. As she got older, she was eventually put on the farm’s payroll. Her work on the farm included feeding baby calves, milking cows, vaccinating heifers, bush hogging and raking hay. She also helps with the payroll and is even artificial-insemination-certified.

Not only did her childhood on her family’s farm give her an interest in agriculture, but her involvement in FFA also sparked her interest. She served as president at her high school’s chapter for the past two years and served as Northwest Region Secretary.

These life experiences are what inspired her to study agriculture in college. She decided to major in Ag Business Management so she could learn business strategy to apply at her family’s dairy farm which she plans to take over one day. Another reason she wants to study agriculture is because she is aware of agriculture’s importance to society.

“There will always be people who need to eat three times a day. I decided to study agriculture so I can help feed the world, improve upon my family’s business and make agriculture more sustainable and efficient in the years to come.”

She decided that N.C. State was the best school to study Ag Business because of the school’s motto “Think and Do.” She knows she will be challenged to think deeply in the classroom, but also encouraged to gain practical hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

Laurel is looking forward to the next four years at N.C. State. She is excited to meet new people from across the state and nation, specifically those who are also interested in agriculture. She cannot wait to further develop her passion for agriculture and to join fellow members of the Wolfpack who love agriculture as much as she does.