Scholarships available

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has more than $50,000 in scholarships available to Ohio students from rural, suburban and urban communities who are pursuing degrees connected in some way to agriculture.

Through 12 programs, approximately 50 scholarships will be awarded. The deadline to apply online is Feb. 28, and all applications require letters of recommendation, an essay, school transcripts and photos.

The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, who passed away in 2020. The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to honor Yvonne and provide support for the next generation of student leaders. The income from this endowment will provide scholarship assistance in perpetuity to students majoring in agricultural and environmental policy or agriculture related fields, such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, policymaking, advocacy, or leadership development for women.

In honor of the legacy of Dr. C. William Swank,  who served as Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president from 1968-1996, Ohio Farm Bureau is pleased to announce the creation of the Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship Fund. During his 40-year career, Swank helped Ohio Farm Bureau grow into the advocacy organization it is today, all the while keeping the economic and social well-being of farm families top of mind.

The Richard & Carole Cocks Scholarship is intended to recognize students who come from those areas that provide so much through farming. This scholarship will award annually four scholarships of $3,333 to deserving students entering 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 that focuses on rewarding students pursuing degrees related to agriculture.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholar Award recognizes students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance 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 majoring in agriculture directly, but whose chosen career field will benefit a field related to agriculture or community development such as food production, scientific research, education/outreach, marketing, policymaking, advocacy or leadership development. The program was established by an endowment from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.

The scholarship’s namesake John C. “Jack” Fisher believes in this saying from Ohio Farm Bureau’s first executive vice president Murray Lincoln: “People have within their own hands the tools to fashion their own destiny.” His vision for this scholarship is to enable people to acquire the necessary tools for a more fulfilling life. Funding for this scholarship comes from the contributions made through the Fisher Fund for Lifelong Learning.

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

The Darwin Bryan Scholarship Fund 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 youths 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.

The Cindy Hollingshead Scholarship Fund was established in 2011 to honor Cynthia Anne (Cindy) Hollingshead for her 39 years of service as executive secretary of Ohio Farm Bureau, as well as a lifetime of volunteer commitment to local government and community service activities. The objective of the scholarship fund is to assist students who plan to pursue careers focusing on agriculture, community service or association leadership.

The Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association is a nonprofit trade association representing 2,500 thoroughbred owners and trainers who race at Ohio’s three commercial Thoroughbred race tracks. The objective of  The Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association Scholarship is to assist students who plan to pursue careers focusing on food or agriculture.

The Dr. 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 OARDC and associate vice president and director of the Wooster Campus in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and his passion for agricultural education and research. The scholarship is specifically for students in livestock and crop sciences at ATI. The purpose of this scholarship fund is to provide $1000 to students entering their second year at Ohio State ATI who are enrolled in livestock and crop related majors. 

In addition, some county Farm Bureaus have their own scholarship programs. Visit ofbf.org/counties to access the county websites for more information.

For more information about the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, contact Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Director of Development Luke Houghton at 614-246-8254.

As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Policy Development
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.
Gayle Hansen's avatar
Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

Hansen's Greenhouse
Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
Shana Angel's avatar
Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

We go to a lot of Farm Bureau events, and there’s a lot of camaraderie built because you’re meeting with people who have similar interests and goals.
Andy Hollenback's avatar
Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

Event Calendar
Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.
Eric Bernstein 's avatar
Eric Bernstein

Kalmbach Feeds

Kalmbach Feeds
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington, D.C.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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