Wind River Development Fund Launches Native Excellence Scholarship Program

    Fort Washakie, WY – The Wind River Development Fund (WRDF) announced that it launched a new scholarship program for Native American students who are pursuing a college education in agriculture. The Native Excellence Scholarship Program will provide $1,000 scholarships to five high school seniors who are graduating in the spring and attending college in the fall of 2024. 

    Marie Mellick, Director of Lending at WRDF, is leading the new program and leveraging her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science, Communication, and Leadership. “Through our partnership with the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF), we are excited to start this new program in support of Native high school seniors who are pursuing careers in agriculture,” Mellick stated. “Our plan is to grow this program each year so that we can provide increasing financial support and strengthen food sovereignty on the reservation.”

    Agriculture holds significant importance in Native American culture and it is one of the leading industries in Wyoming. In the Wind River Basin, farming and ranching have been a source of economic sustenance for generations.

    Interested students are encouraged to contact WRDF at (307) 335-7330 or [email protected].


    Wind River Development Fund is a non-profit, Native Community Development Financial Institution located in Fort Washakie, WY. The mission of the Wind River Development Fund is to provide financial opportunities to stimulate economic development on the Reservation, to promote self-sufficiency, self-determination, and an enhanced quality of life for the Reservation community.

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