2018 Scholarship Winners
MERCER COUNTY FARM BUREAU FOUNDATION 2018 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
THE MERCER COUNTY FARM BUREAU FOUNDATION AWARDED $9,500 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO seven STUDENTS WHO ARE DEPENDENTS OF MERCER COUNTY FARM BUREAU MEMBERS WHO PLAN TO HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE IN THE FUTURE.
Nicholas Close – Winner of the John Sheriff-Dan Lloyd Memorial Scholarship
Nicholas Close is the son of Greg and Brenda Close of Reynolds. He is attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Farm Management Concentration. He is a 2017 graduate of Mercer County High School.
At Mercer County High School, Nicholas was the Valedictorian of the class of 2017. He was an Illinois State Scholar, National Honor Society member, and a member of the Society for Academic Achievement. Close was selected as the State FFA Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship CDE winner. At University of Illinois, Close has made the Dean’s List for the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences and was recognized for getting the highest combined GPA at Nabor House, a Christian Cooperative House.
Nicholas says, “As a freshman in college, I have been blessed to pursue my interests and education further by being an Ag Economics major. I really enjoy farming, and I think it is the best use of my talents.”
Andrew Boruff is the son of Bill and Stacey Boruff of New Boston. He will be attending Kirkwood Community College majoring in Ag Diesel Technology. Andrew will be a 2018 graduate of Mercer County High School.
At Mercer County High School, Andrew is a four-year member of the Society of Academic Achievement and has been on the honor roll all four years. Andrew has been a 4-H member for 10 years and a member of Mercer County Teen Federation for six years having served as Vice-President and President. Andrew has also been a member of the Mercer County FFA Chapter and served as Vice-President this past year. Andrew has won the section and district competitions for his Sheep Production SAE and will compete in the state contest.
Andrew says, “I will be attending Kirkwood Community College to study Ag diesel technology. After college, I want to work as a mechanic at an equipment dealership. I believe with greater technology, fewer farmers will be able to repair their own equipment.”
Brandi Welch is the daughter of James and Kerri Welch of Aledo. Brandi will be attending Iowa State University majoring in Animal Science focusing on Veterinary Medicine. Brandi is a 2016 graduate of Mercer County High School and is currently attending Black Hawk College, East Campus.
Brandi graduated in the top 10 of her class at Mercer County High School. She is also a Black Hawk College Presidential Scholar, member of National Honor Society, Sigma Kappa Delta, and Phi Theta Kappa. Brandi was a 9 year member of Mercer County 4-H and a member of the Mercer County FFA Chapter serving as Reporter and Secretary. She is also a member of Black Hawk College Student Ag Ambassador Team and a member of the Ag Business Club.
Brandi says, “My career goal is to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and hopefully even return to my hometown where I can take over the practice that I currently am employed at.”
Elijah Olin is the son of John and Julie Olin of Aledo. John is currently attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Agribusiness Markets and Management. He is a 2016 graduate of United High School.
Elijah graduated in the top 10% of his class at United High School and was a member of National Honor Society. He is the President of Theta Chi Fraternity, a member of the photography club, RSO President’s Commission, and a member of the bi-county youth coalition. Elijah has had an internship with the University of Illinois Research Farm in Monmouth where he took soil samples and conducted corn proficiency tests.
Elijah says, “This scholarship awarded by the Mercer County Farm Bureau will help me in a number of ways in regards to my future. Money as a college student is in short supply, as a working student who tries to pay for his own groceries and textbooks, the help will go a long in providing for my collegiate expenses.”
Matthew Lloyd is the son of Tom and Kyle Lloyd of Aledo. He is currently attending Black Hawk College, East Campus majoring in Agricultural Transfer. He is 2017 graduate of Mercer County High School.
At Mercer County High School, Matthew was a member of the National Honor Society, graduated in the top 10 of his class, and was very active in FFA serving as the Mercer County FFA Sentinel, Secretary, and President. He was also selected as the FFA Star Chapter Farmer, received his FFA State Degree, and has applied for his American degree. At Black Hawk East, he is an Ag Ambassador and a member of the Ag Business club.
Matthew says, “I will champion for the agriculture industry. It is important to promote the economic, social, and environmental benefits of agriculture in our rural and urban communities.”
Gage Hank is the son of Jeff and Trisha Hank of Aledo. He is currently attending Lake Land College majoring in Agricultural Transfer. This fall, he will be attending Western Illinois University majoring in Ag Business with a minor in Ag Finance. He is 2016 graduate of Mercer County High School.
At Lake Land College, Gage has been a member of Collegiate Farm Bureau, a member of the Ag Transfer Club, a member of the Lake Land College Alumni Show Pig Sale Committee, a member of the Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization, and a member of the Livestock Judging Team. At Mercer County High School, he was active in FFA, graduated in the top 10 of his class, was a member of the National Honor Society, and won the Aledo Exchange Club Youth of the Year Award.
Gage says, “I am leaning toward using my strength in math and numbers by being an Agricultural Financial Analyst, helping farmers with marketing, profitability analysis and financial planning. Farmers today need to be totally aware of running profitable businesses, especially in these times of tight farm margins.
Brynn Bergen is the daughter of Dan and Dawn Bergen of Aledo. She will be attending Wheaton College majoring in Sociology. Brynn will be a 2018 graduate of Mercer County High School.
At Mercer County High School, Brynn is a member of the Mercer County FFA Chapter serving as President and Reporter. She is also the Captain of Varsity Cheerleading, concert band, Key Club, and National Honor Society. She has received her State FFA Degree, the DeKalb Award, Ag Business Award, and FFA Star Greenhand Award. She is also a member of the Society for Academic Achievement, a DAR Good Citizen, and an Illinois State Scholar.
Brynn says, “With a degree in Sociology, I will be able to look at agriculture from a social perspective and help to create better lives in rural settings. By focusing on rural development and looking to enhance life in agriculture-rich areas, I hope to bring new insight to the industry and inspire agricultural growth.”
**New this year is the John Sheriff – Dan Lloyd Memorial Scholarship in memory of Mercer County Farm Bureau Foundation Founders John Sheriff and Dan Lloyd. If you’d like to donate to the John Sheriff-Dan Lloyd Scholarship fund, please contact the Farm Bureau office. Also, if you’d like to have a scholarship established in your name, please contact the Farm Bureau at (309) 582-5116.