Ellie McGowan, daughter of Mollie Tabor and Lowell McGowan, of Caldwell County, is the Kentucky High School Athletic Association-Kentucky Department of Agriculture Ag Athlete of the Year. She plans to attend Murray State in the fall.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles recently announced the ag athletes of the year, as chosen by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and state Department of Agriculture.

Ellie McGowan, who attends Crittenden County High School, was named Outstanding Ag Athlete of the Year. She is the daughter of Mollie Tabor and Lowell McGowan, of Caldwell County, and the granddaughter of Caldwell County District 1 Magistrate Elbert Bennett and Linda Bennett, of Fredonia.

“I babysat my granddaughter, Ellie, until she started preschool and saw she was very inquisitive and saw her enthusiasm,” grandmother Linda Bennett said. “I’m so proud of her hard work and determination.

“Ellie has always enjoyed school and is self-driven. She enjoys being on our farm and helping her papaw, Elbert, with the cattle. Ellie works as a part-time reporter and photographer for the Crittenden Press and works for the state Soybean Association’s Princeton office, where her interests in agriculture has grown. She has kept a 4.0 GPA and will be valedictorian of the Crittenden County High School senior class. I could not be more proud of Ellie and her big heart, compassion, and outgoing personality. She never meets a stranger.”

McGowan is the only student from western Kentucky to receive one of the ag athlete scholarships this year. She received a $2,000 scholarship.

She plans to attend Murray State in the fall, and she received a Murray State University Fellow Scholarship. She plans to major in agriculture/business and political science.”

“Typically, I join these outstanding agriculturally-minded student athletes on the floor of Rupp Arena to award these scholarships, but unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic prevents us from celebrating together,” Quarles said in a news release.

“These scholarships will help these students offset the ever-increasing cost of continuing their education at a college or vocational school. I congratulate them and wish them well as they pursue their education, wherever they choose to go.”