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Iowa Corn Growers Association
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Iowa Corn Announces “Future of Agriculture” Scholarship Recipients

March 24, 2017

Iowa Corn announced today the sixteen students who will be the recipients of the Iowa Corn Future of Agriculture Scholarship program for the 2017-2018 school year. This program awards eight $500 first-year scholarships and eight $500 upperclassman scholarships to individuals who are pursuing degrees that will equip them to contribute to the agriculture industry in Iowa. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB).

“Iowa Corn is committed to developing future leaders in agriculture,” said Larry Buss, a farmer from Logan and Iowa Corn Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff (GNMC) Committee Chair. “Our industry’s success depends on our ability to offer relevant programming, advocacy, and services to those new stakeholders entering Iowa’s agricultural sector. We’re proud of this year’s crop of applicants.”

Applications were judged by selection committees and evaluated on their essays, applications, letters of reference, and their current grades and activities. They also must be members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association or a dependent of a member. The scholarship recipients also will be recognized at the Iowa Corn Grassroots Summit in August.
High school scholarship winners include:

·         Emily Campbell, of Audubon Community Schools, will attend Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Studies. Emily wrote in her essay, “The agricultural sector has been placed under greater scrutiny; something we cannot expect to disappear in the future. To combat this, I will advocate for the industry through publishing my ideas in the media, corresponding with political figures about agricultural issues, and sharing my ag story.”

·         Spencer Gress, of Charter Oak-Ute High School will attend Kirkwood Community College majoring in Agricultural Business. He said in his essay, “I plan to become a District Sales Manager with a seed company. Being able to discuss with farmers their planting decisions will be a dream come true.”

·         Adam Koch, of Osage High School, will attend Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural & Life Sciences Education. In his essay, Adam stated, “By having this degree, I will be able to promote and teach about the agriculture industry. I will then be able to teach consumers about agriculture.”

·         Elizabeth Moore, of the North Mahaska Community School District, will attend Iowa State University majoring in Animal Science and Business. Elizabeth wrote in her essay, “There is a lot of controversy between farmers and consumers over antibiotic use. As an ag-business leader and a farmer, I want to be at the table and have the hard conversations, to impact the future of agriculture in Iowa and to be a part of the solution.”

·         Emma Olson, of Calamus-Wheatland High School, will attend Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Business. She said in her essay, “After graduation my goal is to come back to a small-town bank and work as an agriculture loan lender.”

·         Sawyer Phillips, of the Pleasantville School District, will attend Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Business. Sawyer wrote in his essay, “This will give me the opportunity to develop my skills in agricultural based business. I will be more knowledgeable on current farming techniques and the cutting-edge technology constantly being introduced. This will help me be a successful farmer.”

·         Hans Riensche, of Jesup High School, will attend Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Business. Hans said in his essay, “I believe it is the mission of farmers, like myself, to answer the questions and dispel misperceptions people have about their food. I know changes like this will take time, but I am patient and dedicated to creating a world where no one will go hungry, agriculture is respected and the prosperity of generations to come is secured.”

·         Clay Wilmer, of Mt. Ayr Community Schools, will attend Des Moines Area Community College. In Clay’s essay, he wrote, “I plan to pursue my dream of being diesel mechanic. The agricultural economy needs mechanics, especially for the newer equipment.”                                  

College scholarship winners include:

·         Michael Barr, an Iowa State University sophomore in Agricultural Business and Economic from Kellogg, stated in his essay, “By continuing my studies, I will be more prepared to grow my own farming operation. I will contribute to the agricultural industry through words and deeds, by speaking out in favor or against issues that affect our great industry and by taking steps and actions to make sure the agricultural industry in Iowa continues to grow and prosper.”

·         Erin Dolecheck, a Graceland University junior in Accounting, Agricultural Business and Economics from Kellerton, said in her essay, “I plan to become a Certified Public Accountant and to then work with producers in my local community. I will be able to help farmers, cooperatives, and other types of agricultural businesses navigate the ever-changing tax laws, as well as other aspects of financial management. In addition, I also plan to operate my family farm.”

·         Colby Lafrenz, an Iowa State University freshman in Agricultural Engineering from Maysville, said in his essay, “I currently see myself working in the equipment and cropping systems business. I am passionate about using technologies to discover ways to drive productivity and efficiencies while at the same time protecting the environment.”

·         Nicole Langbein, a Morningside College sophomore in Applied Agriculture & Food Studies and Business Administration from Sac City, wrote in her essay, “This wide variety of classes is teaching me everything from soil and livestock, to business and management. I am hoping to use this knowledge to contribute to my family farm.”

·         Macy Marek, an Iowa State University sophomore in Agricultural Education from Riverside, wrote in her essay, “I realized receiving my teaching degree would give me the option to work with youth and make a larger impact on future generations of Iowa’s agriculture industry. These classes open my eyes to the many individuals that I will encounter in the real world and outside of rural Iowa.”

·         Samantha Reicks, an Iowa State University freshman in Agronomy from New Hampton, wrote in her essay, “Being a scientist is a big goal of mine. I want to ensure that future generations have a healthy environment to live in while having enough food for everyone on the planet.”

·         Celeste Swanson, an Iowa State University sophomore in Agricultural Business from Galt, stated in her essay, “I plan to pursue a career that allows me to utilize the skills I have learned focusing on crop insurance or governmental statistical data. My future goal is to help farmers receive better statistical data.”

·         Rebecca Van Regenmorter, a South Dakota State University sophomore in Agronomy from Inwood, said in her essay, “Using my degree, I will be able to positively impact Iowa’s agriculture industry one farmer, one soil analysis, and one field at a time.”


The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), works to develop and defend markets, fund research, and provide education about corn and corn products.  The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a 7,500-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.

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