Farm Progress

Iowa Corn ‘Future of Agriculture’ Scholarship winnersIowa Corn ‘Future of Agriculture’ Scholarship winners

ICGA announces 16 students who will receive ag scholarships for 2017-18 school year.

April 4, 2017

5 Min Read
CORN SCHOLARS: Sixteen Iowa students are awarded Iowa Corn scholarships for 2017-18 school year, pursuing degrees that will equip them to contribute to Iowa’s ag industry.

Iowa Corn recently announced the 16 students who will receive the Iowa Corn Future of Agriculture Scholarship for the 2017-18 school year. Eight $500 first-year scholarships and eight $500 upperclassman scholarships are awarded to individuals 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 Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB).

"Iowa Corn is committed to developing future leaders in agriculture," says Larry Buss, a farmer from Logan who chairs the ICGA committee overseeing the program. "Our industry's success depends on our ability to offer relevant programming, advocacy and services to the new stakeholders entering Iowa's agricultural sector. We're proud of this year's crop of applicants."

Selection committees judged applicants on their essays, applications, letters of reference, and current grades and activities. They also must be members of ICGA or a dependent of a member. Scholarship recipients also will be recognized at the Iowa Corn Grassroots Summit in August.

High school winners
They high school scholarship winners include the following:

• Emily Campbell, of Audubon Community Schools, will major in ag studies at Iowa State University. She 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 politicians on agricultural issues, and sharing my ag story."

• Spencer Gress, of Charter Oak-Ute High School, will major in ag business at Kirkwood Community College. He says, "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 ISU, majoring in agricultural and life sciences education. He says, "By having this degree, I’ll be able to promote and teach about the ag industry. I will then be able to teach consumers about agriculture."

• Elizabeth Moore, of North Mahaska Community School District, will attend ISU, majoring in animal science and business. She 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 be a part of the solution."

• Emma Olson, of Calamus-Wheatland High School, will major in ag business at ISU. She says, "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 ISU and major in ag business. He wrote, "This will give me the opportunity to develop my skills in agricultural-based business. I’ll 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 major in ag business at ISU. He says, "It is the mission of farmers, like me, 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 Mount Ayr Community Schools, will attend Des Moines Area Community College. He wrote, "I plan to pursue my dream of being diesel mechanic. The ag economy needs mechanics, especially for the newer equipment.”

College winners
They college scholarship winners include the following:

• Michael Barr, an ISU sophomore in ag business and economics from Kellogg, says in his essay, "By continuing my studies, I will be more prepared to grow my own farming operation. I will contribute to the ag 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, ag business and economics from Kellerton, said in her essay, "I plan to become a certified public accountant and to work with producers in my local community. I’ll be able to help farmers, cooperatives and other types of ag 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 ISU freshman in ag engineering from Maysville, said in his essay, "I currently see myself working in the equipment and cropping systems business. I’m 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 and 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’m hoping to use this knowledge to contribute to my family farm."

• Macy Marek, an ISU sophomore in ag education from Riverside, says, "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 ag industry. These classes open my eyes to the many individuals I will encounter in the real world and outside of rural Iowa."

• Samantha Reicks, an ISU freshman in agronomy from New Hampton, says, "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 ISU sophomore in ag business from Galt, says, "I plan to pursue a career that allows me to use the skills I have learned focusing on crop insurance or governmental statistical data. My future goal is to help farmers receive better 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."

ICPB works to develop and defend markets, fund research and provide education about corn and corn products. ICGA is a 7,500-member grassroots organization, based in Johnston, , serving members across the state, and lobbying on ag issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term corn grower profitability. For more information, visit

Source: Iowa Corn Growers Association

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