TCF scholarship awarded to U of I student

    The Chicago Farmers recently awarded a scholarship to Patrick Dziura, a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently studying Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Patrick has devoted his undergraduate career to conducting extensive research within the fields of bioenvironmental engineering, bioprocessing engineering, and nanoscale biological engineering. Within these fields Patrick said hopes to create a global impact by addressing issues such as water and air pollution through the use of algal wastewater treatment, biofuel production, and genetically modified crops. Minoring in French, Patrick hopes to bring his knowledge and research to an international level to help impact as many people as possible.

    Patrick currently serves as the Philanthropy Chair of the Alpha Zeta Morrow Chapter at the university and is also a member of Engineering Outreach Society where he volunteers at the local elementary school in an effort to pique students’ interest in science through hands-on experiments. He also serves as a member of the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). 

    Patrick grew up in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago where he attended Glenbrook South High School. He discovered his interest and passion for agriculture through the high school's horticulture program. Competing in local, state, and national FFA Horticulture Competitions, Patrick's high school team won the 2014 FFA Illinois State Horticulture Competition and went on to do well in the national competition that same year. Patrick noted that his interest in horticulture, agriculture, and science in general has become a forefront in his life as he pursues his future career. 

    Patrick wrote in a letter to TCF, “I would like to thank the Scholarship Committee and The Chicago Farmers for providing me with this scholarship that will help me to continue and pursue my academic studies and goals. Without scholarships such as this, I would not have the opportunity to study at the University of Illinois and be able to make my professional dreams come true. It gives me great confidence and encouragement to continue to do my best academically knowing that there are organizations and people who support me and all my endeavors. I promise to keep working hard at school and make sure that the work that I am doing will one day have a positive local, national, and global impact.”

    Purdue student receives 2017 TCF scholarship

    Purdue University junior Merrilee York, of Monrovia, Indiana, is a recipient of a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. Ms. York is majoring in Agronomy with a minor in Food and Argibusiness Marketing.

    Ms. York grew up in Monrovia, a small town southwest of Indianapolis. During her younger years, Ms. York showed beef cattle in 4-H shows. She has been a member of 4-H for 10 years. “Even though I grew up raising beef cattle, my passion is crops,” Ms. York wrote in a thank you letter to Chicago Farmers.

    A member of Sigma Alpha, the professional agriculture sorority, Ms. York also is a member of  Purdue’s Agronomy Club. She noted that her leadership activities, academic success and hard work have led her to obtain an internship with Monsanto this summer prior to her senior year as a seed production intern.

    Ms. York thanked Chicago Farmers for choosing her for the scholarship. “I understand that without the generosity of people like you, a college education would not be possible for students like me,” she wrote. “I have been truly touched by your decision to be so generous, and I hope to one day be fortunate enough to give back to Purdue agriculture students. Again, I would like to thank you.”

    2016 University of Illinois scholarship recipient

    Illini Ben Wiegmann received a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. Ben is a junior at the University of Illinois studying crop sciences with a minor in ag business. He transferred to the university after studying at Kaskaskia Community College.

    Ben was raised in Breese, a small town and farming community in Southern Illinois. He lives there with his mom, dad, brother, and sister. Ben said he is seriously considering continuing his education after he receives his bachelor’s degree and pursuing a master’s degree in weed science because he plans on becoming an agronomist.

    Ben added, “If I decide to not continue my studies toward a master’s, I would like to be a salesman in a company that provides the opportunity to rise within its ranks. I eventually want to be able to return home and farm full-time with my family."

    Purdue student receives TCF scholarship

    Purdue University junior Garrett Corning is a recipient of a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. Garrett is a junior majoring in agronomy.

    Garrett noted in a letter to The Chicago Farmers that his introduction to farming came as a young child when he would help his grandfather on his farm “every chance I got.” His grandfather’s farm in Northwest Indiana has been a part of his family since 1966 when his grandfather purchased 500 acres. The farm has since expanded through purchases and leasing to 5,000 acres in Northwest Indiana and Illinois.

    “I started out just riding on my grandfather’s armrest. Then I would do things like cut the grass, and now I help with all aspects of the farm,” Garrett wrote. He said that he drives semis hauling grain and he manages hay and straw production when he is home from school in the summer.

    Garrett said he plans to return to the farm when he graduates and help his grandfather full-time. He said that his degree in agronomy will help him increase the efficiency of production on the farm.

    “I also plan on opening my own agronomy business where I will mainly test farmers’ soils, make recommendations, and manage data in software to write custom variable rate prescriptions,” Garrett shared. “While I plan to help my grandfather on his farm, I will make this business my priority so that I can nurture and grow it. When it is stable, I will hire an employee or an intern to help with the busy times of the year so that I can focus on farming.”

    Garrett said that he is grateful for the scholarship. He said he works throughout the summer, is a teaching assistant during the school year, and picks up any side jobs he can to fill gaps in his schedule and to help pay for school.

    “With your generous donation I will be able to work a few less hours and spend more time focusing on finishing my degree,” Garrett wrote. “Again, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your generosity.”

    2016-2017 Wisconsin-Madison Scholar

    Growing up on my family’s cash crop farm in Waupun, Wisconsin, I realized at a young age that I wanted to be part of the agricultural industry. This being so, I came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy. While on campus, I have become involved in the Badger Crops Club where I have been able to have hands-on experiences in agronomy. Through the club, I have competed on both the Weeds and Crops judging teams, and I have had the opportunity to attend conferences all around the United States with other agronomy students. These experiences have helped me grow my agricultural knowledge base and have better prepared me for my agricultural career. I hope to continue with my education and earn a master’s degree enabling me to become an extension agent. - Rachel Perry, 2016-2017 University of Wisconsin-Madison Scholarship Recipient

    TCF scholarship awarded to Iowa State student

    Iowa State University student David Turnis is a recipient of a $1,500 Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. Currently a sophomore majoring in agricultural studies, David has a GPA of 3.39. His goal is to complete his degree at Iowa State and return to his family’s farming operation to farm with his brother.

    While at Iowa State, David has been involved in a number of clubs. Among these are Farm Operations Club, Collegiate Beef Team, Beginning Farmers Network, and Agricultural Marketing and Management Organization. He said he serves on several committees in these clubs and enjoys learning about agriculture with his fellow students. David also has a part time job to help pay for his tuition. “It’s not always easy to juggle school, work and extracurricular activities, and I am truly grateful for the assistance that I am receiving because of your thoughtful gift,” David wrote to The Chicago Farmers.

    David went on to write, “Receiving this scholarship really makes me work even harder to improve my current GPA and become the best student I can be. After graduation I look forward to being able to give back to the community once I begin my career in agriculture. I thank you for your confidence and willingness to help me achieve my goals.”