Current Scholars

    2019-2020 Chicago Farmers Scholarship Recipients

    CAROLINE TREADWELL
    Iowa State University 

    Iowa State University senior Caroline Treadwell is a recipient of a scholarship from The Chicago Farmers. Caroline is majoring in biology and animal science.

    A resident of St. Charles, Illinois, Caroline said that she chose to study biology after becoming fascinated with her high school advanced placement biology course. “I was inspired by my enthusiastic teacher,” she said. Caroline noted that the decision to study animal science came from her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. “Because I pursued a dual degree program with two majors, I will graduate summa cum laude in May with a bachelor's degree in each of my majors,” said Caroline.

    As a student at Iowa State, Caroline  was involved in the Dairy Science Club and  the Biological Sciences Club, where she served in several leadership positions including treasurer and vice president. She has been accepted into multiple veterinary medicine colleges across the Midwest, but has not yet made a final selection.

    Caroline said that her primary goal for the future is to make advances in the field of veterinary medicine. “I am awed by the progress within human medicine, and I would love to be a part of the efforts to push forward the veterinary counterpart,” said Caroline. “My aspiration to become a veterinary ophthalmologist is rooted in my desire to bring a higher degree of care to the animal kingdom.”

    In expressing her gratitude to Chicago Farmers for the scholarship, Caroline said she is extremely thankful for the award because the career path of a veterinary ophthalmologist requires a year-long internship and three years of residency after completing four years of veterinary school. Caroline said, “This scholarship is what fuels the long journey toward my veterinary career. It is because of your generosity that people like me are able to pursue higher education and work toward change.”


    NOAH POYNTER
    Purdue University

    Noah Poynter recently received a scholarship from the Chicago Farmers. He is a farm management major at Purdue University and just completed his junior year.

    Noah hails from Greencastle, Indiana, and grew up on his family’s farm. “I am the third generation farmer in my family and have always had a strong passion for agriculture,” he said.

    The Poynter farm produces corn and soybeans and Noah has a small herd of beef cattle. Upon graduation from Purdue, Noah plans to return to the family farm “to proudly follow in my dad’s and grandpa’s footsteps.”

    Noah added that along with the family farm, his plans include continuing the small business he started while attending Purdue last year, Noah Poynter Media, which produces videos and photos for clients specializing in aerial services, especially within the ag industry.


    JOHN SEARL
    University of Illinois 

    University of Illinois sophomore John Searl is a 2019 Chicago Farmers’ scholarship recipient. John is majoring in Crop Sciences: Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology. Following graduation he plans to pursue graduate studies and earn a Ph.D. in plant breeding and become a corn breeder.

    A resident of Port Byron, Illinois, John said that choosing Crop Sciences as his major was an easy decision due to the fact that he grew up on his family’s farm and wanted to do something in agriculture “even before I chose to go down the path I am on to become a corn breeder.” He added that it was an easy decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign because the faculty and staff made him feel more at home than he did at other institutions he visited.

    John is a member of the Field and Furrow Club at U of I. He loves professional baseball, especially the minor leagues because it affords him the opportunity to follow players through the minors as they make their way to the major leagues. As a baseball enthusiast, John also collects baseball cards, particularly of the top baseball prospects and Carlos Correa.

    In thanking TCF for the scholarship, John noted, “Receiving a scholarship such as this means a lot to me in that it shows me that other people have taken notice of not only the effort I have put in, but also what I have already accomplished. Giving back to help younger students always has meant a lot to me and this scholarship reinforces my commitment to helping mentor students in organizations at my high school (Riverdale Senior High School) that helped me get to where I am now.”


    BEN MROTEK
    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    University of Wisconsin Madison senior Ben Mrotek has received a Chicago Farmers’ scholarship. He is in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and majoring in Agricultural and Applied Economics, Environmental Studies.

    Ben wrote to TCF, “Thank you very much for your generosity in funding the Chicago Farmers scholarship. This scholarship means a lot to me as this is the first time I have received any sort of financial aid. I am very honored that you chose me among an extremely strong field of candidates. This donation will reduce my financial burden and allow me to spend more time in the coming year focusing on my career interests by taking additional leadership roles on campus.”

    Ben, who is from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, said he chose to be an Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAE) major because of his interest in the bridge between business and the environment. He said that he likes the fact that the major allows him to take a large range of courses along with the core economics classes. Ben said that this has provided the opportunity to see how economics applies to real-world issues and take courses most in line with his interests. He said that AAE also paired well with his environmental studies major, which allowed him to get additional credit for electives he enjoys and still have the time to get a certificate in Business Management from CALS. Said Ben, “Overall, I believe my academic path has prepared me for a career that will be very fulfilling.”

    Ben said he has been a great admirer of the University of Wisconsin campus from the first moment he saw it. He noted it is a world-renowned institution in a beautiful setting. Being accepted to the university is among his proudest moments. “After becoming dedicated to becoming to getting into Madison, I was able to attain a 4.0 GPA my sophomore through senior high school years,” he said.

    With an interest in a career in renewable energy or sustainability, Ben hopes to play a large role in creating solutions to environmental challenges. He would like to hold an executive position in an organization with a mission driven by sustainability.

    Said Ben, “Currently, I am pursuing internships in the sustainable energy industry where I can quantify energy system performance and emissions reduction potential. I would like to end up at a company like Tesla because I have a fair amount of experience working with cars, and this would connect that experience with my interest in the environment.”


    BROOKLYN TICE | ABIGAIL WAGNER | JILLIAN CAMP
    Joliet Junior College

    Three students from Joliet Junior College (JJC) recently received scholarships from The Chicago Farmers. The students include Brooklyn Tice, Abigail Wagner, and Jillian Camp.

    Brooklyn Tice is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Agriculture Production. Following completion of the degree, Brooklyn plans to transfer to an out-of-state, four-year university where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Crop and Soil Science. She plans to continue her studies with pursuit of a master’s degree. Brooklyn also plans to take advantage of internship opportunities and job openings over the summer. When Brooklyn completes her schooling, she will embark on a career in the world of agriculture production.

    With a 3.5 GPA, Brooklyn is a very active student within JJC’s Ag Department where she mainly participates as a member of the livestock judging team. The team travels around the country to various judging contests while practicing at least four times a week in preparation for these contests. When she is not competing at contests, she is involved with the Student Ag Association, attending each event the group sponsors. Furthermore, Brooklyn is active with the Illinois Farm Bureau and attends each of the conferences that the bureau offers collegiate members.

    She noted that she has a passion not only for agriculture, but also for Joliet Junior College. “I truly love to be there and to be learning something new each and every day, so I try to stay as active with the school as one's schedule will allow,” Brooklyn wrote to TCF. “It does not end there, though. I also stay busy at home by giving back to my community through the local church, 4H clubs, and FFA chapters. Whenever extra hands are needed to work the 4H food stand or to judge the visual arts contest at general projects day, I always do my best to be there to help. The same goes for the FFA chapters. For example, recently they needed help setting up their banquet so I assisted them. As I said, I have a deep passion for anything related to agriculture so I will always be the first to attend and the first to help.”

    Abigail Wagner has a 3.78 GPA and is studying for an associate degree in Ag Production. Next year she plans to continue working toward the degree while taking extra general education classes to enable her to transfer to Illinois State University. At ISU she plans to major in either Ag Finance or Ag Communication. With a degree in Ag Finance she would be prepared for a career in Ag insurance sales, Ag lending or in a similar field. If Abigail majors in Ag Communication, she would like to educate children about agriculture by working with 4-H youth through the extension office, Farm Bureau or livestock associations. 

    At JJC, Abigail is an active member of the Livestock Judging Team. “On the judging team we have regular practices and contests in addition to hosting our own judging contest and two jackpot shows,” Abigail wrote to TCF. “I also regularly attend the Student Ag Association meetings. Outside of school I am a member of 4-H, where I have served as an officer and junior leader for six years.”

    Abigail said that  through 4-H she has been involved in many community service projects that include hosting bingo at a nursing home, planting flowers in the community, spearheading an Easter egg hunt, and donating to Toys 4 Tots, local food pantries, and Coats for Kids. She currently is finishing her last year as an FFA member and will receive her American FFA degree in the fall. While busy with 4-H, Abigail also has been involved in community service activities in her community such as park clean-up days and raising money for local charities. 

    Jillian Camp completed high school at Naperville Central High School. In a cost saving move, Jillian is completing her general education classes at JJC and earning an associate degree in Animal Science. She plans on transferring to a four-year college to become a veterinarian or have a career involved with either animal behavior or production and management.

     A 3.8 GPA student, Jillian is a member of the Student Agriculture Association at JJC. She has volunteered at her local equestrian center, Trillion, where she helps teach beginner riders and children how to care for and correctly handle horses. “I teach them to read horse behavior and how to keep themselves safe. I keep the facility clean and report any injuries or issues in the barn. When I became 18, the equestrian center hired me and I started working there three times a week. I have been riding horses for 11 years and take lessons at Trillion Equestrian. I occasionally show in equitation and hunter/jumper competitions,” Jillian wrote to TCF.

    Jillian added, “I have my own business pet sitting for neighbors and in local towns. I pet sit whenever needed."