Ohio 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.

Through 14 scholarship funds, nearly 50 awards will be made to deserving students. The deadline to apply online is March 31.

Newly established, the Lou Ann Putnam Memorial Scholarship Fund for Hardin County provides 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 skill set within the agricultural workforce.

 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 Scholarshipwas 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, while keeping the economic and social well-being of farm families top of mind.

The Richard & Carole Cocks Scholarship is intended to recognize 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 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 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 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 who are seeking a career in welding.

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].

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

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
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
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
Kevin Holy's avatar
Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
David Thomas's avatar
David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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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