2023 Farm Kids for College Scholarship Winners
In 1935, the U.S. had 6.8 million farms. However, that number fell sharply until the early 70s. According to the USDA, since then the number has continued a slower, but steady, decline. The most recent survey from 2022 indicates there are 2 million farms, down from 2.2 million in 2007.
As the number of farms declines, so does the number of farmers. Fewer young people are choosing agriculture as a profession. These facts generate greater passion within National Farmers Organization to encourage and support young people who are pursuing agronomic professions.
Each National Farmers awards Farm Kids for College Scholarships to three deserving high school seniors who have shown a growing passion for ag, are leaders within their peer groups and are actively serving their communities. This year we have awarded scholarships to Regina Frisle, Trey Hoffman and Jenna Grab.
Looking forward to attending the University of Wisconsin for a degree in animal science and ag communication, Regina Frisle wants to gain the knowledge and skills to confidently address agriculture misinformation.
Daughter of Dean and Leslie of Prairie Farm, Wisconsin, Frisle couldn’t ask for a better experience than growing up on the family’s dairy farm. “Dairy farmers are known for resiliency, hard work and resourcefulness. They find a way to continue to raise healthy and happy animals while providing valuable nutritious products to their community and the world,” Regina noted.
Active in FFA, 4H and Junior Holsteins, Regina said these activities and helping on the farm have provided her the opportunity to learn leadership skills and discover things that bring her joy.
“Participating in different activities has allowed me to learn my likes and dislikes and figure out what I am passionate about,” Frisle said.
“Gina excels in the show ring, showing pure grace and enjoyment, with a kind word for her fellow competitors. She is also a leader in the classroom and community, a true role model for younger children,” said Becky Hamman, junior holstein leader.
Family, faith, farming and friendship are at the center of Frisle’s life. “Ag communities depend on each other; it is neighbors helping neighbors. Farming depends on help from the entire family. You have to have faith in many things – that rain will come, the sun will shine, and milk prices will be high enough. And friendships make it all worthwhile,” she said.
As a fifth generation cattle producer, Hoffman wants to continue working with cattle and plans to pursue biochemistry with a minor in animal science. Son of David and Roseann of Archie, Missouri, Hoffman graduated from Harrisonville this spring.
“Dedicated, driven, with a strong work ethic and a passion for agriculture and farming,” said Cass Career Center’s Amy Schroeder about Hoffman.
Active in his local chapters of High School Students Against Destructive Behavior, 4H, FFA, and the Junior Cattlemen Association, Hoffman enjoys learning, participating in events, and assisting the younger members of these groups. “Growing through these organizations and raising and exhibiting cattle at the county and state level, I have developed skills that will last a lifetime,” Hoffman said.
Enjoying the Hoffman Simmental and Maine Anjou cattle, Hoffman said, “I strive to raise quality cattle by utilizing superior genetics, proper nutrition, and the best management practices.”
Describing the family cattle operation, Hoffman noted they utilize niche marketing to capitalize on their relatively small herd. “Rather than sell calves at a sale barn, we feed calves to slaughter weight. Marketing them as high-quality beef to customers who want locally produced, quality products. This enables us to capture a higher value for the product we are raising.”
Daughter of John and Marcia and hailing from Mascoutah, Illinois, Jenna Grab is a farm girl through and through. The third generation on the family farm where corn, soybeans and wheat are the main crops, Grab plans to attend college and become an agronomist.
“Jenna demonstrates strong initiative, impeccable morals, solid values and embodies academic excellence. She has an innate ability to encourage her peers in a positive direction,” said her college prep instructor, Michelle Etter of Freeburg Community High School.
Active in Young Farmers, 4H and FFA, Grab has also worked as her FFA greenhouse manager, further developing her interest in and knowledge of plants.
Enjoying farming because she loves to be outdoors and the vast variety of work that farming entails, Grab feels “farmers make a difference in our world.”
When asked why she is pursuing agronomy, Grab revealed, “I enjoy plants and working with them. Crops pop up, watching them through the different stages of growth and then being able to produce a crop is an amazing feeling. I want to make the world a better place and ensure farmers are producing enough nutritious food for our growing population.”
We would like to wish Frisle, Hoffman, Grab and all the seniors good luck as they embark on their next adventure.