Farm Bureau scholarships

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has multiple scholarships available to Ohio students from rural, suburban and urban communities who are pursuing degrees with a connection to the agricultural industry.

Ohio Farm Bureau FoundationThrough 14 scholarship funds, nearly 50 awards will be made to deserving students. The deadline to apply online at ofbf.org/foundation/scholarships is March 31.

Newly established, the Mularcik Welding Scholarship for Summit County was established by Brad Mularcik, a long-standing member of Summit County Farm Bureau, who believes that there is too little attention paid to the skilled trades as a career choice for young people. By offering this scholarship, he wishes to help young people of Summit County, Ohio, who are seeking a career in welding.

The Bruce and Carlene Patterson Agricultural Scholarship was established to provide scholarship support to deserving individuals in perpetuity, opening the door to education by removing the financial barriers that may keep someone from pursuing a career in agriculture or related fields and/or obtaining the training needed to grow their skills within the agricultural workforce. Application closing dates are March 31 and Oct. 31 each year. 

The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship  was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, who passed away in 2020. The income from this endowment provides 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 created the Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship. During his, in total, 40-year career with Farm Bureau, 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 year, the scholarship will award 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 who are from Lorain County.

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 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 is awarded to students pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture who come from a Farm Bureau family in the 29 northeastern counties Walter 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 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 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. 

In addition, many county Farm Bureaus have their own scholarship programs. To view all scholarship opportunities, visit ofbf.org/foundation/scholarships.

For more information about the scholarships that Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation offers, contact Kelly Warner at 614-246-8205.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is committed to inspiring and educating the next generation of farmers, ensuring the progress and prosperity of Ohio agriculture far into the future. The foundation creates pathways for young people to learn about the variety and viability of careers in agriculture. Through scholarships, programming and grants, the foundation builds a growing workforce of farmers who are passionate and prepared to grow Ohio agricultural communities. 

This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Ty Higgins, 614-246-8231 or [email protected].

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
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.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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