Illinois Agri-Women announce scholarship winners
By Katie ZelechowskiIllinois Agri-Women (IAW) is an organization dedicated to promoting a better understanding of agriculture and the family farm system. IAW works in conjunction with the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture (WCFA) initiative, which includes a conference where young women can learn from industry professionals and explore different agricultural careers, to promote women working in the industry. This year, the organizations worked together to award scholarships to four outstanding women pursuing degrees in the agricultural industry.
The first scholarship awarded was the $1,500 Illinois Agri-Women Agriculture Education Scholarship which is awarded to a college senior majoring in Agriculture Education who is about to start her student teaching semester. The 2017 recipient is Casseelyn Johnston, a senior majoring in Agricultural Education at theUniversity of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Casseelyn is from Virginia, Illinois, and plans to work as a high school agriculture educator and FFA advisor in Illinois upon graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in the spring of 2018. While teaching high school students, Casseelyn hopes to earn her Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education so that she can teach at an institution for higher education.
Three $1,000 Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Agent of Change Scholarships were also awarded to college students whose records of activities and career goals allow them to make a positive impact in the agricultural industry. The first recipient of one of these scholarships is Michelle Johnson of Stillman Valley, Illinois. Michelle is a student majoring in Animal Science with a pre-veterinary concentration at Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois. After graduating from veterinary school, Michelle aspires to serve farming communities by maintaining the health of their livestock.The second recipient of a Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Agent of Change Scholarship is Martha Hoffman. Originally from Earlville, Illinois, Martha currently attends Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Illinois, majoring in Communications with an emphasis in agriculture. She says, “As a farmer, I want to share with consumers how their food is grown.” Martha plans to use the communications skills she will learn in the classroom to manage a successful farming operation. In addition to this, Martha aspires to use these tools to work in an agricultural consumer relations or direct marketing position with an agricultural company.
The third and final $1,000 Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Agent of Change Scholarship is awarded to a recipient who is pursuing further education. Originally from Athens, Illinois, Kristen Faucon, graduate of Illinois State University, is the recipient of this award. Kristen ispursuing a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, as well as an MBA from Indiana University. Presently, she manages her company’s government relations efforts in a multi-state territory. Her goal in pursuing a graduate degree is ultimately to lead an organization’s government relations division.