Current Scholars

    Iowa State University 

    Joliet Junior College

    Three Joliet Junior College students were among the recipients of Chicago Farmers’ scholarships. They include Scott Cleland, Samantha Fleming, and Kylie Eike

    Scott shared in a thank you note to TCF, “Thank you for honoring me with a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. I am very thankful for these funds as they will help me further my education at Joliet Junior College. I am currently majoring in Agriculture Business and have a strong interest in agricultural equipment sales. I hope to use the scholarship money to learn more about this sector of business and secure a full-time career in agricultural equipment sales.”

    Scott continued, “This past summer I served as an intern with a local agricultural sales and service company where I learned an enormous amount about the world of agriculture business. I am looking forward to the school year ahead. Thanks again for your generous support.”

    When Samantha completes her studies at JJC with a degree in Agriculture Business, she plans to attend Illinois State University where she will pursue a double major in Ag Business and Animal Industry Management.

    Following graduation from ISU, Samantha would like to go into animal nutrition and feeds. “Creating rations and feedstuffs for different species and livestock raisers is what I would love to see myself doing in the future as a career,” Samantha wrote in a note to TCF.

    While in high school, Samantha was very involved in FFA and sports. She served as the FFA vice president for two years as well as the Plot Manager. She also headed the committee for the school’s farm.

    At JJC, Samantha is involved in the ag department as the Brad Angus' student worker and is active in SAA. She has been involved in 4-H for over 11 years, and has shown livestock during that time. Additionally, she is member of the Illinois Beef Association, National Junior Hereford Association, and DeKalb Kane Cattlemen’s Association.  

    Kylie is working toward an Associate Arts degree. She plans to transfer to Illinois State University to major in Agriculture Communications and Leadership following completion of her Associate Arts degree at JJC.

    Kylie has not settled on a career following graduation from ISU, but she has made researching job possibilities and working in internships that apply to her major top priorities.

    As a high school student, Kylie was involved in many activities and held officer positions in each of them. Her main activities included FFA, 4H, band, drama, cheerleading, and track, but she also was a part of Student Council and National Honor Society. Kylie was involved in community service projects with Feed My Starving Children, food drives, blood drives, and clean-up committees at various fairs. At JJC, she is part of the Student Ag Association, which serves as host of events for local FFA chapters and other organizations.

    Purdue University

    Purdue University student Hunter C. Christner is a recipient of a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. Hunter transferred to Purdue in the fall of 2017 after completing double associate’s degrees at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. He is completing his bachelor’s degree in agronomy at Purdue.

    Hunter is originally from Shipshewana, Indiana, where he enjoyed singing, playing baseball, hunting, fishing, and living on a lake. Following high school graduation with academic honors, Hunter worked for a construction company. After a year, he traveled to Pinedale, Wyoming, where he explored the Rocky Mountains as a backcountry ranger for the Forest Service in Pinedale and attended school in Powell.

    He wrote in a thank you note to TCF, “During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years I discovered my passion for agriculture. I worked on a cattle ranch in Cody, Wyoming, watching 350 head of Black Angus cows in the outskirts of the Yellowstone Mountains. I got to see a lot of wildlife, including some close encounters with grizzly bears. I was able to adventure in the mountains for another year through school.”

    Hunter said he is very interested in working for the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) or another division of the USDA where he can assist people in making natural resource management decisions on farming and ranching operations. He wrote, “I have a wide range of passions and could also succeed in a wildlife management or biologist position. I desire to help people steward the gift we call nature. I am very excited to see what the Lord has for me in the years to come and this scholarship is one aspect of making this adventure possible.”

    Hunter was married last May and when he completes his education at Purdue, he and his wife will move to either Wyoming or Montana. He wrote in his letter to TCF, “I am very grateful for the Chicago Farmers’ scholarship of $1,500. Thank you so much for your support and investment in my college career at Purdue. This generous gift will be used to pay for my tuition fees, books, and other living expenses, as I am going to be living off campus.”

    University of Illinois 

    Ethan Plote, a junior in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois, is a recent recipient of a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. A native of Leland, Illinois, Ethan is majoring in Technical Systems Management and Agricultural and Consumer Economics – Farm Management.

    In a note to Chicago Farmers, Ethan wrote, “The College of ACES was my school of choice because I wanted to learn more about both agricultural business and technology. However, being a third generation Illini might have helped play a role in choosing ACES, as well. One of my favorite things about the college is the family atmosphere and the ease of accessibility I have with my advisors and professors. On campus, I am involved in Alpha Zeta, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and Cru. In each of these organizations, I hold or have held leadership positions.”

    Ethan continued, “With my double major, I feel I will be amply prepared for being involved on my family's farm after college. For the summer of 2019, I have accepted an internship with CNH Industrial, and I am looking forward to working in its capital division. The Chicago Farmers’ scholarship means a lot to me because this year I was able to participate in the International Business Immersion Program in Brazil. Through this program I was able to learn about and experience many aspects of Brazilian agriculture. The Chicago Farmers’ scholarship has helped to support me and I cannot thank the organization enough for its generosity.”

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Melissa Losby, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a recipient of a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. She is studying Animal Sciences and Environmental Studies at the university.

    Melissa grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, with a great love for anything animal-related. She wrote in a thank you note to TCF, “I grew up with my mother, father, and cat. Although I was raised in the city, I have always had a passion for animals and an interest in agriculture. My mother grew up on a small dairy family farm in northeastern Wisconsin and spending time at the farm was a highlight of my childhood. I am so excited to be continuing my studies at UW-Madison and I cannot thank you enough for your support.”

    She said she grew up riding horses on her grandparents’ farm.  When she became 14-years-old, Melissa began working at a summer camp where she taught children how to work with and ride horses. She soon realized that she loved sharing her knowledge and teaching both children and adults.

    Melissa said that she was overjoyed when she was accepted into UW-Madison and quickly declared her major to be Animal Sciences. She noted the decision was simple because Animal Sciences allowed her to incorporate her passion for animals with a desire to learn more about agriculture. In the middle of her first year, she declared Environmental Studies as a second major. “This decision stemmed from my interest in sustainability in agriculture,” she wrote.

    “Overall, I chose to major in Animal Sciences and Environmental Studies for the chance to learn as much about agriculture as I can. With these degrees, I hope to share my knowledge with the community and use what I have learned to help educate others,” Melissa wrote.

    She said she has gained much knowledge about agriculture and is learning more every day. Melissa plans to graduate in May 2020 and is looking forward to her final semesters on campus. After graduation, Melissa hopes to find a career that incorporates agriculture and animals with outreach and teaching within the community.

    Melissa said she has been very fortunate at the University of Wisconsin to experience everything from hands-on involvement with livestock to off-campus trips. One of her favorite classes was the Meat Animal Evaluation Team. Being a part of the team exposed her to many aspects of the agriculture industry that she had not previously experienced. Melissa wrote, “We toured feedlots, a harvest facility, and various cattle operations. For me, this class really showed me what opportunities are out there in the agriculture industry. The chances to learn and grow have been numerous since I began studying Animal Sciences and your generosity is paramount to continue my studies.”

    Melissa shared that another important part of her experience at UW-Madison has been through her internship with the school’s Equine 4H Extension Specialist and through its Saddle and Sirloin Club. Through these activities she said she has further broadened the extent of her understanding of the industries involved in agriculture.

    Melissa noted, “Since I hope to share the knowledge I have learned with others in the future, working with UW Extension and the Saddle and Sirloin club has been so beneficial. I have helped put together 4H activities, helped put on livestock shows, and learned more about the university’s involvement in the community. I would like to articulate how much your support impacts me and my studies. This scholarship opportunity allows me to place a larger focus on my classes, clubs, and internship without such a financial burden. Receiving the Chicago Farmers scholarship has emboldened me to delve into my studies and gain as much knowledge as possible in my final years at UW-Madison. Again, your generosity and support mean so much to me and I would like to thank you immensely for this amazing opportunity.”