Kent Nutrition Group (KNG), in association with the Iowa Foundation for Agriculture Advancement (IFAA), awarded two scholarships to college-bound, Iowa high school students at the Iowa State Fair’s prestigious Sale of Champions on August 17.
Bethany Widman, of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa was presented with the $1,500 Russ Brannen Memorial Scholarship and Kiersten Jass of Garner, Iowa was awarded the $2,500 Aaron Boysen Memorial scholarship.
“At Kent Nutrition Group, we recognize the importance of supporting the next generations of leaders in agriculture,” said vice president Mark Krieger, who presented the scholarships on Saturday, August 17. “The scholarship recipients are both very deserving and impressive.”
Established in 2019, the Aaron Boysen Memorial Scholarship supports students who will pursue a career in agriculture. Boysen was a 30-year employee of KNG who had a passion for family, Kent, and agriculture. He left a lasting impression on all who knew him, particularly in the swine, beef and show feed industries.
Widman will be a freshman at Dordt University in the fall of 2019 and plans to major in Agronomy. She is an active member in 4-H, receiving over 20 grand champion awards and 15 reserve grand champion awards in projects and livestock. After college, Widman plans to return to the farm to help with her family’s cattle operation and eventually start her own cow/calf operation.
Jass will be a senior at Iowa State University this fall and is majoring in Animal Science. Kiersten has been involved in the cattle industry from a young age, holding many leadership positions as a junior member for several cattle associations. She currently serves as the president for the American Junior Simmental Association.
Prior to the scholarship presentation at the Sale of Champions, a celebratory lunch was held for recipients and their families. In attendance were dignitaries including United States Ambassador to China and former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.
Following lunch, more than 100 scholarships were awarded to Iowa students through the IFAA. At the Sale of Champions, 16 4-H and FFA exhibitors sold their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters. The animals represent the Grand and Reserve Grand Champions in each of their respective species as selected during the Fair’s livestock show, and raised $336,000 for the IFAA.
The IFAA is a non-profit organization comprised of agricultural enthusiasts dedicated to providing scholarships, financial awards and incentives for college-bound youth seeking a post-secondary education in the area of agriculture. Each year, thousands of Iowa students participate in 4-H and FFA beef, swine, poultry and other agricultural projects. With the help of many supporting organizations and donors, the IFAA is able to provide merit-based financial awards to hundreds of those participating students every year looking to continue their study of agriculture within Iowa.