For decades, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has awarded scholarships to students from rural, suburban and urban communities who were pursuing degrees connected in some way to agriculture. These scholarships helped them complete their education or improve their leadership skills. Lauren Schwab, a 2010 Darwin Bryan recipient has been honored at the state and national levels for her agricultural advocacy efforts.
Lauren Schwab can still remember what was going through her mind when she filled out an application for a Darwin Bryan scholarship eight years ago.
“I remember thinking ‘I hope they see they are investing in both a Farm Bureau member and advocate for agriculture.’ Ever since that moment, I’ve always wanted to give back to Farm Bureau,” said Schwab, who works on the family’s sow-breed-to-wean swine farm.
Today, Schwab, a Butler County Farm Bureau member, has a solid history of giving her time and energy to the agricultural community. In 2016, she was named one of five farmers nationwide to be in the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s Faces of Farming and Ranching program and the previous year she was a finalist in the National Pork Board’s America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.
She was appointed to the Young Agricultural Professionals State Committee, served as a county Farm Bureau board trustee, attended American Farm Bureau Women’s Communications Boot Camp in Washington, D.C. and was an Ohio Farm Bureau intern. She actively blogs, covering everything from her family’s farm to country music to rural living.
During Ohio Farm Bureau’s annual meeting last year, she got a kick out of listening to the 2017 scholarship recipients talk about their future plans.
“It brought me back to when I got (my scholarship),” said Schwab, who has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and women’s studies and a master’s in family studies from Miami University. “They’re so excited about their goals and what the future holds. These scholarships help them become strong advocates, which is important because they are the future of Farm Bureau and agriculture.”
Applications are now being accepted for the Darwin Bryan Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1985 in honor of Darwin R. Bryan whose enthusiastic leadership during his 37 years of service to Ohio Farm Bureau has been an inspiration to rural youth throughout Ohio. The scholarship fund assists students who have been active in the Farm Bureau youth program and/or whose parents are Farm Bureau members.