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Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships available

gorodenkoff/Getty Images two scientists in greenhouse inspecting plants and taking notes
SCHOLARSHIPS: Through 12 scholarship funds, about 50 awards will be made to students for more than $60,000.
Students pursuing ag industry careers can apply by Feb. 28.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation has more than $60,000 in scholarships available to Ohio students who are pursuing degrees connected in some way to agriculture.

Through 12 scholarship funds, about 50 awards will be made to students. The deadline to apply online at is Feb. 28, and all applications require letters of recommendation, an essay, school transcripts and photos.

The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Yvonne Lesicko, Ohio Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy, who died in 2020. The fund provides support for the next generation of student leaders.

The income from this endowment provides scholarship assistance in perpetuity to students majoring in agricultural and environmental policy or agriculture-related fields, such as food production, scientific research, education and outreach, policymaking, advocacy, or leadership development for women.

In honor of the legacy of  C. William Swank, who served as Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president from 1968 to 1996, Ohio Farm Bureau created the Bill and Helen Swank Scholarship Fund. During his 40-year career, Swank helped OFB grow into the advocacy organization it is today, all the while keeping the economic and social well-being of farm families top of mind.

The Richard & Carole Cocks Scholarship awards two scholarships of $3,333 to deserving students entering their sophomore year of college from select rural Ohio counties. Each scholarship award is renewable for up to three years and a total of $10,000 per student.

The Joseph Kelly Memorial Scholarship was established in 2018 to honor the life of Joseph Kelly and to continue his legacy of generosity and service. It is an annual, merit-based competition focusing on rewarding students pursuing degrees related to agriculture.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Scholar Award recognizes students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance the partnership between producers and consumers in rural, suburban or urban settings.

The foundation’s Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program is awarded to applicants who may not be majoring in agriculture directly, but whose chosen career field will benefit a field related to agriculture or community development, such as food production, scientific research, education and outreach, marketing, policymaking, advocacy or leadership development. The program was established by an endowment from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, trustee.

The scholarship’s namesake, John C. “Jack” Fisher, believes in this saying by OFB’s first Executive Vice President Murray Lincoln: “People have within their own hands the tools to fashion their own destiny.” His vision for this scholarship is to enable people to acquire the necessary tools for a more fulfilling life. Funding for this scholarship comes from the contributions made through the Fisher Fund for Lifelong Learning.

Known as “Mr. Farm Bureau” to his family and friends, Kenny Walter devoted 34 years of his life to Ohio Farm Bureau. The Kenny Walter Scholarship Fund is awarded to students pursuing postsecondary education in agriculture who come from a Farm Bureau family in the 29 northeastern counties Walter covered as a regional supervisor and organization director.

The Darwin Bryan Scholarship Fund was established in 1985 in honor of Darwin R. Bryan, whose enthusiastic leadership during his 37 years of service to Ohio Farm Bureau has been an inspiration to rural youth throughout Ohio. The scholarship fund assists students who have been active in the Farm Bureau youth program, or whose parents are Farm Bureau members.

The Cindy Hollingshead Scholarship Fund honors Hollingshead’s 39 years of service as executive secretary of OFB, as well as a lifetime of volunteer commitment to local government and community service activities. The objective of the scholarship fund is to assist students who plan to pursue careers focusing on agriculture, community service or association leadership.

The Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association is a nonprofit trade association representing 2,500 thoroughbred owners and trainers who race at Ohio’s three commercial thoroughbred race tracks. The objective of the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association Scholarship is to assist students who plan to pursue careers focusing on food or agriculture.

The Dr. David A. Benfield Scholarship Fund was established in 2019 by colleagues and friends of Benfield to honor his 17-year career as associate director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, as associate vice president and director of the Wooster campus in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and his passion for agricultural education and research. The scholarship is specifically for students in livestock and crop sciences at Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute . The purpose of this scholarship fund is to provide $1,000 to students entering their second year at Ohio State ATI who are enrolled in livestock- and crop-related majors.

In addition, some county Farm Bureaus have their own scholarship programs. Visit to access the county websites for more information.

For more information about the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, contact Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Executive Director Kelly Burns at 614-246-8275.

Source: OFB, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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