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Ernest Manchester is a name to be remembered if you enjoy the natural resources of Bradford County.  The scholarship in his name is open for application until Sept. 30 each year.

Ernie, or “Jid” as his friends knew him, loved his community and was a steward of the land. Ernie was an active associate director for the Bradford County Conservation District until the time of his passing in 1991. Soon after, the conservation district along with the Manchester family began the Ernest Manchester Memorial Scholarship Fund to support local college students pursuing natural resources-related careers.

Neal Halstead, chairman of the conservation district board in 1991 said “Ernie could always be counted on to help the conservation district. What value he added to our community!  He was one of those individuals who left their community a better place than when they came into it.”

Mike Lovegreen, conservation district manager while Ernie was active, said “Mr. Manchester was a real believer in the agricultural community and actively supported natural resource management programs in Bradford County. It’s nice to see the future of such ideals promoted in his name.”

In a letter to Ernie’s wife, Mrs. Mabel Manchester, dated May 4, 1994, Mike wrote “Your family is one of the ‘First Families’ of conservation in Bradford County.  I’m sure any future successes in this field locally will have some beginnings in the ethics you are helping to instill in students.”

The fund started with $2,000 from 18 families and organizations, awarding the first scholarship in 1994.  Twenty-five years later, the fund remains robust and has provided $21,800 to 37 students! 

Mrs. Manchester survived her husband by 26 years and was quoted as saying “It’s an investment in our youth and how our community will be able to address natural resource decisions in the future.” A number of the scholarship recipients have returned to Bradford County, working in the natural resource management field, an outcome that Ernie would be pleased with.

The Manchester Scholarship application is open to Bradford County college students in their junior or senior years (or second year associates degree) who are pursuing degrees in natural resource management, conservation, agriculture or other related fields. 

Applications are available at the conservation district office or on our web site www.bccdpa.com and are accepted through Sept. 30th each year. Scholarships have ranged in value from $200 to $1,000. Donations can be made to the scholarship fund by contacting the Bradford County Conservation District.

The latest 2018 recipients included four students: Nick Martin (wildlife biology, Keystone College), Brooke Ostrander (ag extension education, Penn State University), Theron Binford III (environmental science, Mansfield University), and Austin Jelliff, (bio-renewable systems and agricultural systems management, Penn State University).  Spread the word. You, or a student you know, could be next!

The Bradford County Conservation District is committed to helping people manage resources wisely.  You can visit the Bradford County Conservation District at 200 Lake Rd in Wysox across from the Wysox Fire Hall. Contact us at (570) 485-3144 or visit our web page at www.bccdpa.com.