With a commitment to future generations, each year GENEX awards scholarships to students pursuing degrees in agriculture. These students are actively involved on a GENEX cooperative member’s farm or ranch and exhibit a passion for arguably the world’s most important industry.
The 2021 recipients of the $1,000 GENEX Collegiate Scholarships have all proven that agriculture is not for the faint of heart. It requires grit, drive, dedication and, most importantly, passion.
Our 2021 scholarship winners are:
Ira Chase Cotton
Northeast Community College – Diversified Agriculture & Agronomy
It will be my honor to be a fifth-generation farmer/rancher! My forefathers were amazing role models and I intend to make them proud by carrying on, which means getting involved in local organizations and staying abreast of progressive techniques. I will continue working side-by-side with family members doing what we do best! I am not afraid to put in the work necessary to keep the future bright for generations to come.
North Dakota State University – Animal Biomedical Science
One of the biggest things agriculture taught me is perseverance. Prices, markets, and weather are constantly changing. Some years there may be great crop yields and milk prices may be high and the next year a storm may destroy the crops, or a pandemic may hit forcing farmers to dump milk. No matter the conditions, farmers pick up the pieces and keep going. This has made a large impact on my life and taught me if something doesn’t go right, I may have to adjust my original plan.
South Dakota State University – Dairy Production
I’ve always known I want to be a dairy farmer and continue my family’s farming traditions. I appreciate the generosity of generations working in agriculture and am motivated by each season of the year. I plan to be a leader in the dairy industry by breeding quality cows and producing quality milk. I will lead by example and share my knowledge with other dairies, ag organizations and youth. I will also lead by sharing my farming story with others not part of the ag industry.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo or UW Madison – Dairy Science
Through my participation on our family farm, I have been fortunate to grow both personally and academically. As a result of my research, I learned about genomic testing and applied what I learned to my cows. I am amazed that a simple tissue sample enables me to unlock a genetic code that helps me in management decisions. This progression has spurred my desire to learn more about genetic progress, especially as it contributes to sustainability.
Oklahoma State University – Ag Communications & Animal Science
In this day and age, it is more important than ever to preserve rural America. I believe one of the key components of doing this is to dispel the numerous misconceptions in the mainstream media, and from a production standpoint, being able to communicate with the consumer. I strongly believe that by being involved in agricultural communications I can be a liaison as well as an advocate for the farming community.
South Dakota State University – Agricultural Engineering
Agriculture is the root of my successes, my experience and my character. I believe agriculture is one of the most important industries that drives the success of other industries. I have learned so many life skills, built numerous connections and have had once-in-a-lifetime experiences, all because of my agricultural involvement. My involvement in agriculture allowed me to start my own herd of cattle; an enterprise that taught be lessons no education could surpass.