2021 Farm Kids for College Scholarship Winners
The Class of 2021 gave the National Farmers Farm Kids for College Scholarship competition a field of high-achieving candidates, and three $1,000 scholarship winners who exhibit not only livestock, but also a love of family agriculture, academic achievement and leadership abilities.
Samantha Gambonini, Petaluma, California, achieves on the local, state, national and world stage in agricultural and dairy pursuits. She graduated from Petaluma High School.
Gambonini was involved in 4-H, FFA and the Redwood Empire Junior Holstein Association, and earned the California State FFA Degree in 2020. In the 2020-21 school year, she was North Coast Region FFA president and a member of Petaluma National Honor Society. Gambonini grew up on her family’s ranch, Gamlake Dairy. She is the daughter of Frank and Stacey Gambonini.
In 2019, she garnered Reserve Grand Champion at the Western Fall National Holstein Show, exhibiting Gamlake Dairy’s Mogul Judith, and earned Supreme Champion, Supreme Best Bred, Intermediate Champion Registered Holstein and first place in Dairy Showmanship at the Sonoma County Fair.
In 2018, at the International Junior Holstein Show and World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisconsin, she garnered Grand Champion of the Holstein Show, Reserve Supreme Champion of the Dairy Cattle Show and Champion Best Bred and Owned, exhibiting with Gamlake’s Destry Sallie.
Gambonini will pursue a degree in animal science or agricultural education. Gambonini said she also hopes to contribute to the family ranch in the future.
Animal agriculture lights a fire in Waukon, Iowa’s Madalyn Palmer when she considers her career future.
Palmer lives on her family’s dairy farm where she helps with calf chores, milking and treating sick cows. She is the daughter of Eric and Stephanie Palmer of Waukon.
Palmer has been involved in 4-H throughout high school, serving as her club’s secretary in 2018-19 and vice president for two years. She was named the 4-H Senior Dairy Champion and received the AK-SAR-BEN Award of Excellence in 2018, and outstanding leadership and citizenship awards in 2019. She served on the 4-H County Council, and was a member of the Allamakee County Dairy Judging Team.
Palmer plans to attend Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, to major in animal science and agricultural business. She plans to return to her family farm and carry on the agricultural legacy.
Agriculture and academic achievement go hand-in-hand for Rushville Consolidated High School’s Jeremiah Geise, Arlington, Indiana.
Geise’s high school years have been saturated with FFA, 4-H and leadership activities. He earned the Star Greenhand award, and served one year as his FFA chapter vice president. A leader in FFA, he served as District IX secretary, District IX treasurer, Section III Director, and served on the Indiana FFA Executive Committee, all during his high school career.
In 4-H, he served as the vice president of his club in 2020-21 and was involved in Rush County Junior Leaders. In 2019, he was youth president of the Indiana Boer Goat Classic, and in 2020, he was a founder of the Rush County Sheep and Goat Club. Geise lives on his family’s fourth generation family farm.
Geise is bound for Purdue University, where he plans to major in animal science and agricultural communications. Longer term he says his aim is to become a veterinarian with a specialization in food animal medicine and open a practice in his local community.