M-State Achievers Dominate Farm Kids for College Scholarship Competition
M-State young adults swept the 2019 Farm Kids for College competition, with three young women fromMissouri, Montana and Michigan claiming the top spots – each one earning a $1,000 scholarship. Marlena Long, Paris, Missouri, Anna Slivka, Winifred, Montana, and Miriam Cook, Pewamo, Michigan, won among a field of high school seniors whose applications touted respected FFA, 4-H and other community achievements.
A graduate of Paris R-II High School, Long intends to attend University of Missouri to major in
biochemistry/pre-medicine and agricultural business. The university is developing a customized academic plan for her. Chip Kemp, director of member and industry relations for the American Simmental Association’s SimGenetics said, “Marlena will make a difference for our industry as she matures and becomes a leader and spokesperson. She will use her talents and education to not only help herself, but also to help others and our entire industry.” He became acquainted with Long and her ag qualifications through his online livestock evaluation platform.
Still, Long loves the farm, as well. “I plan to always be involved in my family farm,” Long said.
Long’s Supervised Agriculture Experiences in FFA involved her development of a small Shorthorn cow-calf herd operation and a test plot for hybrids and traits using precision agriculture technology. She was involved in FFA throughout high school, serving as Paris chapter president, Missouri Area IV president and she participated on several state- and nationally-honored FFA Career Development Event teams.
Additionally, Long participated in 4-H, serving as president, and now as adviser. She attended the Missouri Legislative Academy, University of Missouri Animal Science Academy, National 4-H Congress and the Show Pig All-Star Academy and was involved in the Missouri Junior Shorthorn Association.
The Big Sky Country ag achiever, Slivka, graduated from Winifred High School and plans to attend Montana State University to major in agricultural communications. “Anna’s communications skills are exemplary…” said Cheryl Udelhoven, Slivka’s Winifred High School business teacher and BPA adviser.
Slivka placed 15th in the nation at the 2016 Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in presentation management individuals, and she placed second in Ag Communications and first in Creed Speaking at the State FFA Convention. She then presented in Creed Speaking at the National FFA Convention. She was Bronze Division Creed Speaker.
“I hope to work among ag broadcasters and continue to serve those around me,” Slivka said. “In addition to serving in the agricultural industry, I hope to serve my community, as well.”
Raised on a small farm and ranch in central Montana, Slivka has been directly involved in production agriculture and 4-H, as well as FFA. She has served as treasurer, secretary, vice president and president of her FFA chapter, treasurer and secretary of student council and served as the Class of 2019 president at Winifred High School. Slivka was the Judith Basin County Star Greenhand and was named Montana FFA’s Most Inspirational Member and was the Most Inspirational Essay winner.
Michigan’s Cook, a graduate of Pewamo-Westphalia High School, is bound for Purdue University to major in agriculture economics. “I am involved in agriculture first through my family’s 300-cow rotational grazing dairy farm. I have grown up on this farm and am the fifth generation. Living on the farm has developed a passion for agriculture within me…,” Cook said. “I plan to come back to the family farm using all the marketing knowledge I gained with my degree to expand the farm.”
Cook was involved in Ionia FFA 2017-2019, and served as chapter president and Region V treasurer. She has competed and won awards in three national 4-H dairy judging contests, including World Dairy Expo. She has also participated in Clinton County 4-H, Clinton County Dairy Council, and Michigan Junior Holstein Association as an at-large director for the 2018-2019 school year. She served as a Michigan Dairy Ambassador in 2018, was in National Honor Society 2017-2019 and participated in State Youth Leadership Council 2017-2019.
“Miriam’s goal is to give back to the agricultural industry that has given so much to her,” said Luann Learner, dairy quiz bowl and dairy management coach. “She wants to be able to make a difference by setting a high bar for herself and work on leaving a legacy that is worth remembering.”
National Farmers grants three scholarships annually, with high school seniors who will seek an agricultural degree eligible to compete. The scholarship goes toward freshman year college costs.
National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.