Five students rewarded for their passion for agriculture and their communities
By Glen Schmidt, MFU Education Director
Every year, Minnesota Farmers Union and National Farmers Union offer scholarship opportunities to members and their children. Altogether, there was more than $14,000 worth of scholarship money available.
Of that, $1,000 is awarded to five students through the Minnesota Farmers Union Scholarship. The winners of the 2019 Minnesota Farmers Union Scholarships are:
Daniel Williamson, son of Donnel & Christa Williamson of Spicer. Daniel plans to attend South Dakota State University for Agricultural Sciences. Daniel said, “I have always been involved in agriculture. Whether it was riding with my dad in a tractor, or helping him with cattle chores, I was always exposed to it. I have had the unique experience of being raised on the same farm site as my grandparents. I have been able to learn about agriculture from both my father and grandfather. Although we have a small certified organic farm, my parents have taken the time to expose me to all sides of the agriculture industry through involvement in the community and Minnesota Farmers Union.”
Carolyn Pavlish, daughter of Jerome Slette of Mahnomen. Carolyn plans to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston to study Agricultural Education. Carolyn said, “I strive to educate others on the various areas of the material and help them to see the importance of the many occupations in the industry. The world is beautiful, and diverse. Agriculture is fascinating and I can’t imagine my life without it.”
Carly Feldewerd, daughter of Cory and Heidi Feldewerd of Melrose. Carly will be attending North Dakota State University to study Nursing. Carly said, “As I have been learning more about our country and government in my American Government class, I have started to notice the importance of representation in our government. I understand that the Minnesota Farmers Union is present to represent farmers as a whole in Minnesota. This is vital for my family, and for other farming families around us. Without representation, we could run the risk of not being stood up for. Our government runs off the basis of being represented, so there has been a significant impact on my life and my family’s life due to the Minnesota Farmers Union political representation.”
Alma Jorgenson, daughter of Mike Jorgenson and Kathy Draeger of Clinton. Alma is currently attending Gustavus Adolphus College and majoring in Psychology and Environmental Science. In Alma’s own words, “One day really stands out to me when thinking about how rural life shaped my future. On this day, an elderly woman came in and started telling me about her family trauma. We started chatting about the availability of rural mental health practitioners. Near the end of this conversation, she started crying, saying how helpless she felt. When she left I broke down. My heart hurt for my community. My time working at the grocery store inspired me to want to do everything that I can to help rural communities. To do that I am going to school to be a rural psychologist. I hope that I am able to use my education to be in a rural community and do make in difference in those people’s lives.”
Andrew Johnson, son of Darren and Kari Johnson of Fergus Falls. Andrew will be attending North Dakota State University, majoring in Agriculture Economics and minoring in Soil Science. Andrew said, “My increased time working on the farm helped me decide my career path which includes attending NDSU and majoring in Agriculture Economics and minoring in Soil Science. These degrees will provide a good knowledge base for marketing our crops and valuable insight into our crop production. Following graduation from college, I will return home and be the 4th generation to operate the family farm. Also, following my dad’s, grandpa’s and great grandpa’s footsteps, I plan to be an active member of Farmers Union.”
These young adults have distinguished themselves through their passionate commitment to agriculture, MFU, their communities and their future careers. Congratulations to all!