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WISCONSIN RURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOUNDATION ANNOUCES THE RETURN OF THE PREMIER SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

March 1, 2021 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

The Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WROF) is proud to announce the WROF Premier Scholarship – an award of $5,000 to be presented to a Wisconsin high school senior pursuing a post-secondary education following graduation. 

“WROF initiated the Premier Scholarship program in 2020 and received over 300 applications from graduating high school seniors – a tremendous response for a brand-new award! Our selection committee was overwhelmed with the quality of the applicants. WROF is pleased to again offer this scholarship to an individual who has a career plan and passion to return to and serve in rural Wisconsin. It truly fits the purpose of our Foundation,” says Joan Behr, WROF President.

Last year’s recipient was Peyton Mykel-Marie Clark from Ontario, Wis. She was a 2020 graduated from Brookwood High School and is the daughter of Todd and Tracy Clark. Clark is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at Western Technical College.

Clark says, “The biggest surprise of my first semester was how hands on it was. I was just a few weeks in and I was already being placed in a childcare setting to gain more experience. I was also surprised that most of my classes were my Early Childhood Education classes and not all general education classes”.

The student recipient must be a high school senior at one of Wisconsin’s public or private schools, who has been living in rural Wisconsin for at least two years. “Rural” is defined as traditional rural areas and rural towns of 25,000 population or less. The award will support tuition and books, up to $2,500 per semester, for any post high school experience in Wisconsin for two semesters as long as a 2.5 GPA is maintained.

To apply, visit wrof.org. Only applications submitted ONLINE with an official transcript and letters of recommendation will be considered. The deadline to apply is prior to midnight March 31, 2021.

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more than 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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Pat Duffy/Duffy Grain Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar award winner is Katherine Eugster

February 25, 2021 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

The Pat Duffy/Duffy Grain Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar award winner is Katherine Eugster of Stoughton, Wis. She received a $1000 scholarship towards her education. Eugster was selected from over 300 applicants from rural Wisconsin.

The daughter of Joe and Carol Eugster, Katherine is a 2020 graduate of Stoughton High School. She is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a degree in agricultural business management and environmental studies with a minor in Spanish. “I plan to continue my parents’ farm market, so an ag-business degree will greatly benefit me in the future,” says Eugster.

Living on a farm her entire life, Eugster has accumulated a variety of skills and work experience including her hobby of showing goats for nearly a decade. Over the years she has garnered a number of awards including five grand champion honors. Additionally. Eugster has started and managed her own sunflower bouquet business featuring 32 different varieties and 22 thousand flowers. Euguster also did a field trial with Takii Seeds with some new varieties.

During her high school tenure, Euguster was involved in 4-H and FFA, a member of the National Dairy Goat Association, in National Honor Society and a varsity letter winner. She also volunteered her time to give tour to socio-economically challenged school groups at the family’s Eugster’s Farm Market.

The WROF is honored to announce the inaugural class of board scholars. Nine rural Wisconsin students were selected to receive a scholarship that is funded and supported by a board member of WROF.

“Duffy Grain is proud to be able to participate in the Wisconsin Rural opportunities Foundation Board Scholars program, promoting further education in Wisconsin,” stated board member Pat Duffy.

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more than 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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KENDRA JENTZ IS THE INAUGRUAL WINNER OF THE PAT DUFFY/DUFFY GRAIN WISCONSIN RURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOUNDATION BOARD SCHOLAR AWARD

February 11, 2021 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

Kendra Jentz of Bloomington, Wis. is the Pat Duffy/Duffy Grain Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar award winner. She received a $1000 scholarship towards her education. Jentz was selected from over 300 applicants from rural Wisconsin.

Jentz, the daughter of Thomas and Julie Jentz, is a 2020 graduate of River Ridge High School. She is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls pursuing a degree in agricultural education. Jentz says “I chose this area of study because I want a career where I can make a difference in the lives of individuals and assist them in reaching their full potential. We need to develop a new generation of leaders in rural America, and I believe ag education is a way to develop those leaders.”

Although she lives in the small town of Bloomington, Jentz has been able to establish and grow her own herd of sheep on her grandfather’s farm. Additionally, she works on her uncle’s nearby farm and exhibits beef cattle from the farm at local shows. These experiences coupled with her education are vital steps in helping her achieve her dream career of being an extension agent. “This will allow me to further my outreach in Agriculture Education and those who are involved in it. I quote I heard from a Farm Bureau has always stuck with me since I’ve heard it, ‘Tell your story, because otherwise, someone else will tell it for you,’” says Jentz.

During her high school tenure, Jentz lists of activities and accolades is impressive. She has been active in 4-H and FFA serving in a number of officer positions. Also, she was also active in student council, forensics, meats judging, and volunteering. She has seen a number of successes in her judging career and skill contests.

The WROF is honored to announce the inaugural class of board scholars. Nine rural Wisconsin students were selected to receive a scholarship that is funded and supported by a board member of WROF.

“Duffy Grain is proud to be able to participate in the Wisconsin Rural opportunities Foundation Board Scholars program, promoting further education in Wisconsin,” stated board member Pat Duffy.

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more than 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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ZACHARY FERHMAN IS THE INAUGRUAL WINNER OF THE CHARLES P CRAVE WISCONSIN RURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOUNDATION BOARD SCHOLAR AWARD

December 4, 2020 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

Bowler native, Zachary Fehrman was awarded $1000 towards his education as the Charles P. Crave Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar. He was selected from over 300 applicants from rural Wisconsin.

Fehrman is the son of Douglas and Valerie Fehrman, and a 2020 graduate of Bowler High School. He is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point pursuing a degree in water and wastewater treatment. “There are so many opportunities in the field of water and wastewater treatment,” says Fehrman. “UW-Stevens Point has the best Natural Resources program in the state of Wisconsin.”

Bowler School remains one of the smallest in the state, with less than 100 students in a town of just over 300 people. Fehrman is no stranger to rural Wisconsin, growing up and working on his grandfather’s sheep farm and helping neighbors on their dairies. His earnings will be used to help fund his education as his family is unable to assist due to medical costs.

During his high school tenure, Fehrman was actively involved in FFA, 4-H, National Honor Society, band, choir, soccer, baseball, and basketball. He has garnered numerous accolades for his achievements including being a WIAA Scholar Athlete, Secretary’s Book Award, and First-Team All-Conference Baseball to highlight a few.

The WROF is honored to announce the inaugural class of board scholars. Nine rural Wisconsin students were selected to receive a scholarship that is funded and supported by a board member of WROF.

“The WROF has been fostering our rural society since the depths of the Great Depression.  Now in the depths of Covid-19, we are proud to foster our rural youth,” stated board member Charles Crave.

Crave has also committed to the program already for the 2021-2022 school year providing funds for another board scholar. His commitment to the program and the youth of rural Wisconsin is unwavering.

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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JIM CALDWELL/CITIZEN BANK WISCONSIN RURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOUNDATION BOARD SCHOLAR AWARDED TO SAVANNAH SIDERS

November 18, 2020 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

Savannah Siders of Mishicot, Wis. was awarded $1000 towards her education as the Jim Caldwell/First Citizens State Bank Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar. She was selected from over 300 applicants from rural Wisconsin.

“I know there are many worthy candidates for this scholarship, but this scholarship will help me avoid obtaining expensive student loans that may take years to repay,” comments Siders.

A 2020 graduate of Mishicot High School, Siders is the daughter of Steven and Jennifer Siders. She is currently attending the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay pursuing a degree in biology and pre-veterinary. “The reason I want to major in biology and pre-veterinary is that I have always been passionate about helping animals and making them feel better,” says Siders.

Logging over 400 hours of volunteering; Siders list of extra curriculars is extensive. Her activities include FFA, varsity dance team, forensics, and high school musicals to name a few. Siders enthusiasm and hard work have garnered her numerous accolades including being Summa Cum Laude, student of the month, and various FFA awards.

Upon completion of her schooling, Siders hopes to return to rural Wisconsin, especially the Mishicot area. “In my area, there is a high need for large animal vets with many farms desperate to find someone who could help with their livestock’s health and development,” says Siders. Additionally, she hopes to serve as a mentor and volunteer in the community.

The WROF is honored to announce the inaugural class of board scholars. Nine rural Wisconsin students were selected to receive a scholarship that is funded and supported by a board member of WROF.

Jim Caldwell, award sponsor and President of First Citizens State Bank, comments, “Congratulations to all our winners, especially Savannah. I am impressed with your high school career of diversified activities and leadership positions. I am also pleased to learn of your career goal of becoming a large animal veterinarian as well as plans to stay in Wisconsin. I believe you have great potential for future leadership in a Wisconsin rural community.”

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more than 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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INAUGURAL WINNER OF THE JOAN BEHR WISCONSIN RURAL OPPORTUNITIES FOUNDATION BOARD SCHOLAR AWARD IS MELISSA SRNKA

November 4, 2020 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

Melissa Srnka of Algoma, Wis. was awarded $1000 towards her education as the Joan Behr Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar. She was selected from over 300 applicants from rural Wisconsin. 

“This scholarship directly reflects all of my hard work in community service, sports, academics, and 12 years of schooling,” says Srnka. “With this scholarship, I am able to lighten my financial burden and focus on the most important part of my schooling, learning.”

Srnka is the daughter of Scott and Tina Srnka. She graduated top of her class from Algoma High School and is now attending the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay pursuing an education in physical therapy. “UW-Green Bay will allow me to make connections for my future in the workforce by being connected to the Green Bay Packers and Bellin Health,” she states.   

Being the fourth generation on the family’s dairy farm in a rural community, Srnka developed a strong work ethic and bond with the community. She is quick to lend a hand and volunteer as demonstrated by donating her fair project winnings one year to a local family facing rising debt due to medical expenses. It is ties like this, that draw Srnka back to her community upon the completion of her six years of education and training. Additionally, as a physical therapist, she will be providing a needed service to this rural Wisconsin area.   

During her high school tenure, Srnka was involved in softball, National Honor Society, Student Council and was a student mentor. Additionally, coached middle school basketball and was instrumental in the remodeling of the music rooms at her school. In her free time, she enjoys band, choir, triathlons and working with dairy cattle. 

The WROF is honored to announce the inaugural class of board scholars. Nine rural Wisconsin students were selected to receive a scholarship that is funded and supported by a board member of the WROF.

“Knowledge is the foundation of success. My hope is that this award will allow our students to focus on their education and personal development, rather than worry about funding their education. By helping them achieve their personal education dreams, they will be able to contribute to the future success of rural Wisconsin”, says Joan Behr, the WROF President and scholar sponsor. 

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more than 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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JEREMIAH IHM IS AN INAUGURAL WISCONSIN RURALOPPORTUNITIES FOUNDATION BOARD SCHOLAR

November 4, 2020 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

Jeremiah Ihm of Lancaster will receive $1000 towards his education as the Mary Elvekrog Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WORF) Board Scholar. He was selected from over 300 applicants from rural Wisconsin. 

“Having been awarded this WROF scholarship increases my financial standing as a college student while decreasing my need for student loans and my overall debt,” he states. 

Ihm is the son of John and Deb Ihm and a 2020 graduate of Lancaster High School. He is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls pursuing a degree in Agricultural Education and Technology Education. “In the classroom, I look forward to teaching students about plants, animals, business and how we use them in our daily lives”, explains Ihm. “I want to help others find out what they love to do and help them succeed.”

Born and raised on his family’s organic dairy and hen farm, Ihm’s love for agriculture started early. His first farm chore was feeding bottle calves in kindergarten and this has grown into helping with field work, vaccinating and medicating animals, identifying calves, assisting with milking and taking care of his own animals. Ihm’s herd has grown to include four cows and sheep and swine project animals. 

During his high school tenure, Ihm participated in 4-H, FFA, his church, wrestling, football, National Honor Society, band and more. He, additionally, earned several accolades including lettering in wrestling and football, FFA Chapter Star Greenhand, and Wisconsin FFA Organic Proficiency State Winner. 

The WROF is honored to announce the inaugural class of board scholars. Nine rural Wisconsin students were selected to receive a scholarship that is funded and supported by a board member of WROF.

“Since the Great Depression, the WROF’s mission has been to foster vitality in rural Wisconsin. With wise leadership and prudent investing, we have awarded scholarships for decades at more than 30 post high school educational programs throughout Wisconsin,” says Joan Behr, the WROF President. 

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation Supports Rural Summer Science Camp

November 4, 2020 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

The Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation (WORF) continues to be a valuable partner in outreach programs that help revitalize rural Wisconsin. This program is free to rural students and helps them explore the diversity of careers in science. Since its inception in 2007, the WROF has been supporting the program.

The workshop series brought more than 100 students and 15 teachers “face-to-face” to learn online from scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research. The students and teachers logged on from 18 school districts in the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance and the Upward Bound program that focuses on underrepresented and first-generation pre-college students.

Over six weeks, the students and teachers engaged with scientists working in the fields of metabolism, regenerative biology, medical engineering, medical imaging, and more.

“Through weekly Zoom calls, the students met with scientists, heard their personal stories, and began imagining their own paths into science,” says Dan Murphy, outreach and lab manager at the Morgridge Institute.

During the workshop, students could select a morning or an afternoon lecture, and to Murphy’s surprise, many participated in both sessions. The students learned about the latest research at the Morgridge Institute, went on “behind-the-scenes” lab tours, and had Q&A time with the scientists.

“The opportunity opens up new possibilities for students and gives them the idea that UW-Madison is attainable for anyone,” wrote a participating rural high school teacher. “I am so thankful that this opportunity existed this summer for our students.”

Ross Soens, a graduate student in the Cantor Lab, said the summer workshop was a great way to work on his science communication skills, and to remember where he started as a budding scientist.

“I, too, was once a high school student in Wisconsin, and it was through the efforts of committed and enthusiastic teachers that I found myself on my current scientific career path,” Soens says.

Murphy says the workshop showed the Discovery Outreach team how an all-virtual experience can be a meaningful place to connect and inspire. The team is thinking about the next steps such as building in more virtual interactivity for next year.

Since 1934, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. has invested in the education of people from rural Wisconsin so they, in turn, can transform and improve the economic health and quality of life in their rural areas. As a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, more than 6000 individuals have received over $6.2 million in scholarships and grants in agricultural and rural health care education in over 30 different Wisconsin educational institutions and programs.

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Premier Scholarship Award WROF Inc. Board Scholars Announced!

November 4, 2020 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

With over 300 outstanding applications, and an entirely on-line selection process, we are delighted to announce not only our first-ever WROF, Inc Premier Scholar but also nine additional awards!

All of our applicants demonstrated excellence in academic performance,  community service and had financial need. They make a difference in their families, community and rural Wisconsin! We were honored to hear their stories.  We also wish to commend the parents of these applicants.  They should be so very proud. Their children reflect quality values, work ethic and high expectations.

Peyton Mykel-Marie Clark from Ontario, Wisconsin selected.

It is our honor and joy to announce that the 2020 Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. Premier Scholarship has been awarded to Peyton Mykel-Marie Clark from Ontario, Wisconsin. Peyton graduated from Brookwood High School and her parents are Todd and Tracy Clark.   She will receive up to $2500/semester towards her tuition for up to four semesters for a total award of $10,000.  Peyton is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at Western Technical College.  She is deeply involved in her family dairy, beef and crop farm and looks forward to bringing agriculture into the classroom upon her graduation as she teaches in her home rural area.

Board Generosity creates NINE additional WROF Board Scholars

Thanks to the generosity of several members of the WROF, Inc. Board,  additional  awards were granted. These students will receive a $1000 award this year to use towards their education this fall.  The students, and their Board scholarship donor, are:

  • Archie Cooley, Mount Hope – The Brett Renk/Renk Seed WROF Board Scholar
  • Katherine Eugster, Stoughton – The Pat Duffy/Duffy Grain WROF Board Scholar
  • Zachary Fehrman, Bowler – The Charles P. Crave WROF Board Scholar
  • Kelly Hueckman, Prentice – The Curtis Hanson/Midstate Equipment WROF Board Scholar
  • Jeremiah Ihm, Lancaster – The Mary Elvekrog WROF Board Scholar
  • Kendra Jentz, Bloomington – The Pat Duffy/Duffy Grains WROF Board Scholar
  • Savannah Siders, Mishicot – The Jim Caldwell/Citizens Bank WROF Scholar
  • Melissa Srnka, Algoma – The Joan Behr WROF Board Scholar

These young people are beginning college during this more unique time in our history.  We are confident they will move rural Wisconsin forward in new and wonderful ways.

To learn more about the WROF, Inc., please read about our history.

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WROF unveils winning design from “New Year, New Logo” contest

May 31, 2019 by Marcy Heim | No Comments

MADISON, Wisconsin [May 31, 2019] – The Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. (WROF) is proud to announce the winner of their “New Year, New Look” logo design contest: Adam Alan Nelson. The UW-Milwaukee student will receive a $500 scholarship for his winning design.

“Adam’s design really resonated with the WROF Board of Directors,” says Sara Schoenborn, Marketing Committee Chair. “He was able to capture the mission and vision of our organization and portray them in a new way. We are excited to utilize his creation as we continue our efforts to aid rural Wisconsin.”

“I’m grateful to have my design selected as the new brand for the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation,” says Nelson. “I coupled a vintage design in honor of their long-standing history with the modern look they were looking for as they continue to impact generations of rural Wisconsin students.”

WROF would like to thank all of the students who supplied over 30 entries to the contest and the many supporters who voted online to narrow down the top three for consideration.

For more information about WROF, visit www.wrof.org

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