News Details

Scholarship will honor WVUP student killed in farming accident

Scholarship will honor WVUP student killed in farming accident


The family of Ethan Cain, a WVU Parkersburg student killed in a farming accident, met with the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 to finalize the scholarship agreement of the Ethan Cain Memorial Scholarship.

“The scholarship holds significant meaning for the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation as it commemorates the life of Ethan and honors his passion for agriculture. It serves as a lasting tribute to his memory while supporting the educational pursuits of future agriculture students,” said Olivia Reeder, Director of WVU at Parkersburg Foundation. “We are grateful that the family chose such an impactful way to memorialize Ethan.”

Reeder said the scholarship is designed to financially assist agriculture students at WVUP.

“It may cover various expenses related to their education, such as tuition, textbooks, and other academic fees, providing valuable support for their academic journey,” said Reeder.

Sheena Deem, Cain’s aunt, as well as several cousins and other family members attended the scholarship signing in his honor.

“This scholarship means a lot to us. This means that we’re keeping Ethan’s name alive,” said Deem. “We wanted to try to help out other kids that needed help on trying to further their education in Agriculture.”

Deem said that Ethan had been interested in farming since he could walk.

“Ethan, for probably as soon as he was able to walk was riding a tractor with papaw, he lived, ate and breathed the farm,” said Deem.

Deem said that Cain participated in WVUP’s Short-Term Agribusiness program and worked on the Riverhawk Farm with John Riggs, agriculture director.

“Ethan Cain meant an awful lot to me, as a friend, a student and a farmer. I really respected his drive and work ethic for as young as he was; it is hard to come by that level of work ethic today,” said Riggs. “He took a great deal of pride in working to earn money and buying his own things. He was one of those farm kids, much like myself, that loved to be out on the tractor baling hay or feeding cattle.”

Riggs said this scholarship will honor Cain by helping aspiring agriculturists.

“I am honored and humbled that the Cain and Clevenger families trusted me to bring this scholarship to WVU Parkersburg’s Agriculture program. WVU Parkersburg Agriculture’s main goal is educating the next generation of agriculturalists,” said Riggs. “When I was first told about the Ethan Cain Memorial Scholarship, I became very emotional due to my connection with the family and the sensitivity of the matter. Knowing what this means to the family, community and the future of agriculture education for other students we will strive to be the best stewards of this funding as we can be, while I wish it was Ethan continuing his education, I know that he would be able to provide agriculture education to other aspiring agriculturalists.”

Riggs said seeing the community come together to support the scholarship speaks volumes to what type of person Cain was.

“His name will live on forever through this scholarship and many students will be able to advance their farming knowledge because of him. That would have meant a great deal to Ethan,” said Riggs. “I would like to thank the family, community and the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation for all the work that went into bringing The Ethan Cain Memorial Fund to fruition.”

The scholarship will be available to students who have graduated from Ritchie County High School or St. Marys High School, who plans to pursue agriculture at WVUP. If no student from that area is eligible, it may go to any West Virginia student pursuing agriculture.

Contact the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation at for more information.