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NFU awards scholarships to young agricultural leaders

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Students pursuing a career in agriculture often look for scholarships to help them with their financial responsibilities. To support the next generation of agricultural professionals, National Farmers Union Foundation announced the 2021 recipients of its annual scholarship awards.

Every year, the organization presents several scholarships to students in any area of study attending a two- or four-year accredited college, university, or technical school who have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to their communities. “Since National Farmers Union was founded nearly 120 years ago, education has been the foundation of our success and longevity,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “To secure a bright future for our organization and the American agriculture industry at large, we need to ensure that young people have the educational resources they need to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Madelyn Jennings of North Dakota received the Hubert K. & JoAnn Seymour Scholarship, a $2,000 scholarship award given in honor of the dedication and commitment to Farmers Union and family farming by Hubert and his wife JoAnn. Hubert K. Seymour was a leader in the Farmers Union organization throughout his life at both the state and national levels. He served the Illinois Farmers Union as secretary-treasurer for eight years and vice president for 12 years before he stepped down in 1990. He farmed full-time with his wife until his passing in 1994.

In addition, three Farmers Union members were each awarded the $1,500 Stanley Moore Scholarship, in memory of the award’s namesake, a long-time Farmers Union member and visionary leader, including his roles as National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice President and chairman of the NFU Insurance Companies board. The recipients of the Stanley Moore Scholarship are Amy Kyllo and Darrin Williamson, both of Minnesota, and Shelby Reeser of Kansas.

For the first time, NFU also presented two $1,500 Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Scholarships, which were open to MANRRS members and their children.

The initiative is part of a formal commitment between NFU and MANRRS to provide educational and leadership opportunities for young people of all racial and ethnic identities, develop federal policy priorities, and extend each other’s reach within agricultural communities. Mary Vandenbosch of New York and Kenndall Bennett of Louisiana are the inaugural recipients of this new award.

“Agriculture — like any industry — is strengthened by diversity in its workforce. But due to a number of factors, including institutional discrimination and unequal exposure to agricultural education, the field does not represent the full range of perspectives our country has to offer,” said Larew. “With these scholarships and other outreach, we’re working with MANRRS to eliminate some of those systemic barriers and make agriculture a more accessible career path for students of all races and ethnicities.”

The next opportunity to apply for the scholarship awards open in December 2021. More information about the scholarships is available on the NFU website.

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