9/3/2013 11:12:00 AM Golf tourney raises funds
for agriculture scholarships Area students encouraged to apply
By Tara Lindquist
The Dodge County Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual golf tournament to benefit their scholarship programs on Friday, August 23.
The corn and soybean growers donated one scholarship worth $4,300 to an area student that is pursing a career in agriculture. They also award a few $500 scholarships to area students as well. The large scholarship is apart of Agriculture Future of American, a group made up of agriculture businesses. "AFA helps us organize the scholarships, market them and they provide the website where students can fill out their application for the scholarship," explained Jon Zuk, Plot Chairman for the Dodge County Corn and Soybean Growers. AFA's mission is to create partnerships that identify and support outstanding students to prepare for careers in the agriculture industry. They also help students connect with businesses in the agriculture field to obtain internships and career options. This is the first year Dodge County Corn and Soybean Growers have teamed up with AFA for the scholarship opportunities.
The scholarships are available to students who attend Hayfield, Triton, Kasson-Mantorville and Blooming Prairie school districts. "We don't have a lot of applicants because everyone thinks that since there are so many schools involved there's a lot of competition, and that's just not the case." This year they had three applicants and all three received a scholarship, Rachel Moe of Hayfield High School received their large scholarship, Kelsey Wolf and Blake Arret both of Blooming Prairie High School received $500 scholarships. "I don't think we've ever had so many applicants that we haven't given someone a scholarship."
Applicants must write an essay on why agriculture is important to them and why they are choosing to pursue a degree in agriculture. For the smaller scholarships, students don't necessarily have to be pursing a degree in agriculture if their parents are a member of the Dodge County Corn and Soybean Growers they can apply. Students that are already in college are also eligible to apply for the scholarship if they are changing careers or majors. "We really focus on the high school graduates but we have awarded scholarships in the past to people that are already in college."
The golf tournament is just one of the fundraisers that is held to benefit the scholarship program. On September 4, they will be hosting their annual Plot Day in Hayfield on the corner of Highway 55 and Highway 30. They also sell advertising for their parade sign and hold an annual sponsors dinner.