Today’s Students are Tomorrow’s Leaders

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GENEX announces the six winners of the 2020 GENEX Collegiate Scholarship program.

Now more than ever, a light is shining on the importance of agriculture. Agriculture is a staple in its own right, and just as yesterday’s ag leaders have brought us to where we are today, it is the future faces of agriculture that will continue to take the industry to new heights.

With a commitment to future generations, GENEX awards scholarships each year to students pursuing degrees in agriculture. These students are actively involved on a member’s farm or ranch and exhibit a passion for arguably the world’s most important industry.

Agriculture requires grit, drive and dedication, but most importantly, those who will shape the future of agriculture have one thing in common: passion.

The recipients of this year’s $750 GENEX Collegiate Scholarship have all proven one thing: Agriculture is not for the faint of heart. It requires grit, drive and dedication, but most importantly, those who will shape the future of agriculture have one thing in common: passion.

Amanda Engelken
Earlville, Iowa
Animal Science and Dairy Science
Iowa State University

“Agriculture isn’t just about reaching the bottom line. It’s about a family raising their young to have the same passion and drive for the industry that they have. It’s about being active members in your community. And while all of this is taking place, agriculture is about teaching those involved to give as much as they take and to appreciate what you do have.”

Bailee Shiefelbein
Kimball, Minnesota
Animal Science and Agricultural Communications
Oklahoma State University

“The biggest lesson that I have learned by being on the farm with my family is you don’t stop until the job gets done. It taught me how to not give up but instead to persevere through a task.”

Alaina Johnson
Dakota, Minnesota
Pre-Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin-River Falls

“I have agriculture to thank for the hard work and dedication instilled in me. If it wasn’t for the long hours on the farm working with my dad, uncles and grandparents, I know I wouldn’t have the dedication and drive that I have today. That dedication and drive has helped me in every aspect of my life.”

Alyssa Strassburg
Wittenberg, Wisconsin
Agribusiness/Science Technology and Animal Science
Fox Valley Technical College

“To me, it is important to make sure I do my part to take care of the environment around me while also feeding the world … I have learned a strong work ethic, money management skills and responsibility. Growing up on a dairy farm taught me how to manage a busy schedule, work independently, but yet take directive from others.”

Ashton Erickson
Wallace, Nebraska
Agriculture Communications
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Many people do not realize the large role that agriculture plays everywhere in the world. In addition, many people do not understand how demanding the agriculture industry is and how many hardworking individuals dedicate their lives to put food on the table for strangers … It is vital for me to share my passion for agriculture with others. To me, agriculture is a way of life.”

Kady Figge
Onaga, Kansas
Agricultural Communications
Kansas State University

“To me, agriculture means opportunity. As I have grown up in the industry, I have found myself, grown personally and professionally, and found my passions in life … I knew that with my passion for agricultural communications I would be able to provide communication between America’s consumers and producers of the agricultural industry. I would provide a more positive outlook on the industry and further educate those in need.”

These students know hard work, experience and leadership are imperative skills within this industry. In their applications, they described opportunities that helped shape them into the future leaders agriculture needs; opportunities such as holding officer positions in industry organizations and associations, spearheading local volunteer efforts, being recognized as county and state royalty such as Miss Wisconsin Agriculture and Miss Kansas Agriculture USA, serving as agricultural ambassadors, maintaining academic excellence, and managing critical roles on the operations where they work.

“GENEX is committed to supporting the next generation of farmers,” states Terri Dallas, GENEX Vice President of Member Relations. “These students are great advocates that bring a bright outlook on the agriculture industry. With young leaders like these on the horizon, I am confident in the future of agriculture.”

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