Over $60,000 in Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation grants available

press release

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation provides more than $60,000 in scholarships to students from rural, suburban, and urban communities in Ohio pursuing a degree that is in some way related to farming.

Approximately 50 awards are given to deserving students through 12 scholarship funds. The deadline to apply online at ohiofarmbureau.org/foundation is February 28 and all applications require letters of recommendation, an essay, school reports and photos.

The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Vice President of Public Policy for the Ohio Farm Bureau, who passed away in 2020. The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to honor Yvonne and support the next generation of student leaders. Proceeds from this foundation provide ongoing scholarship support to students majoring in agricultural and environmental policy or agricultural-related fields such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, policy making, advocacy, or women’s leadership development.

In honor of the legacy of Dr. C. William Swank, who served as Executive Vice President of the Ohio Farm Bureau from 1968 to 1996, the Ohio Farm Bureau established the Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship Fund. During his 40-year career, Swank helped the Ohio Farm Bureau grow into the advocacy organization it is today, with a constant focus on the economic and social well-being of farming families.

The Richard & Carole Cocks Scholarship is designed to recognize students coming from the areas that achieve so much through agriculture. This year, the scholarship will award two $3,333 scholarships to deserving sophomores beginning their sophomore year of college from select rural Ohio counties. Each scholarship award is renewable for up to three years and a total of $10,000 per student.

The Joseph Kelly Memorial Scholarship was established in 2018 to honor the life of Joseph Kelly and to continue his legacy of generosity and service. The Joseph Kelly Memorial Scholarship is an annual, merit-based competition focused on rewarding students pursuing an agriculture degree.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholarship Award recognizes students for academic endeavors, community service, and career interests that use agriculture to improve the partnership between producers and consumers in rural, suburban, and/or urban settings.

The Foundation’s Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship program is awarded to applicants who may not be directly involved in agriculture, but whose chosen career field benefits an area related to agriculture or community development, such as agriculture. B. Food production, scientific research, education/outreach, marketing policy making, advocacy or leadership development. The program was created through an endowment from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, trustee of Fifth Third Bank.

The grant’s namesake, John C. “Jack” Fisher, believes in the Ohio Farm Bureau’s first executive vice president Murray Lincoln’s dictum: “People have the tools in their own hands to shape their own destiny.” Vision for this scholarship is to enable people to acquire the necessary tools for a more fulfilling life. This scholarship is funded by contributions from the Fisher Fund for Lifelong Learning.

Known as “Mr. Farm Bureau” to his family and friends, Kenny Walter dedicated 34 years of his life to the Ohio Farm Bureau. The Kenny Walter Scholarship Fund is awarded to students pursuing post-secondary agricultural education who come from a Farm Bureau family in the 29 Northeast counties, which Watler covered as regional supervisor and organizing director.

The Darwin Bryan Scholarship Fund was established in 1985 in honor of Darwin R. Bryan, whose enthusiastic leadership inspired rural youth throughout Ohio during his 37 years with the Ohio Farm Bureau. The scholarship fund supports students who have been active in the Farm Bureau’s youth program and/or whose parents are members of the Farm Bureau.

The Cindy Hollingshead Scholarship Fund was established in 2011 to honor Cynthia Anne (Cindy) Hollingshead for her 39 years as Executive Secretary of the Ohio Farm Bureau and for her lifelong service to local government and community service. The aim of the scholarship fund is to support students who are aiming for a job in the fields of agriculture, community service or club management.

The Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing the 2,500 Thoroughbred owners and trainers who race at Ohio’s three commercial Thoroughbred courses. The goal of the Ohio Horsemen Benevolent & Protective Association Scholarship is to support students who are pursuing a career with a focus on nutrition or agriculture.

the dr The David A. Benfield Scholarship Fund was established in 2019 by colleagues and friends of Benfield to honor his 17-year career as Associate Director of the OARDC and Associate Vice President and Director of the Wooster Campus at the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and his passion for the natural sciences agricultural education and research. The scholarship is specifically aimed at students of livestock and plant sciences at ATI. The purpose of this scholarship fund is to provide $1000 to students beginning their second year at Ohio State ATI who are majoring in cattle and crop production.

In addition, some county agricultural offices have their own grant programs. Visit ohiofarmbureau.org/counties to access county websites and for more information.

For more information about the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, contact Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Executive Director Kelly Burns at (614) 246-8275.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is committed to inspiring and educating the next generation of farmers to ensure the progress and prosperity of Ohio farming well into the future. The foundation creates ways for young people to get to know the diversity and feasibility of jobs in agriculture. Through scholarships, programs, and grants, the foundation builds a growing workforce of farmers passionate and willing to build farming communities in Ohio.

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