For the first time in the program's history, Michigan Farm Bureau has selected three recipients for its 2009 Marge Karker Scholarship: Emily Ries of Lenawee County, Brenda Sisung of Clinton County, and Julie Thelen of Washtenaw County. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship to apply toward her tuition at Michigan State University.
MFB's annual Marge Karker Scholarship has historically gone to a student enrolled in a two-year, agriculture-related program at MSU. This year the MFB Scholarship Committee expanded the program to award three recipients, and also opened it to students in four-year and graduate programs.
Ries, daughter of Richard and Linda Ries of Sand Creek, is a junior majoring in agriculture and natural resources communications. In addition to making the dean's list every semester at MSU, she is extensively involved in student leadership roles with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
After college Ries aims to work with an organization that supports Michigan agriculture.
"I will serve the agricultural industry as a dedicated individual offering my time and abilities," Ries says. "I also plan to continue farming with my family, and remain involved with organizations such as Farm Bureau, the National FFA Alumni Association and the Michigan Corn Growers' Association."
Sisung, daughter of Donald and Jane Sisung of St. Johns, is a sophomore pursuing an animal science degree. Her interest in agriculture is evident through her long-term involvement in 4-H, the Michigan Shorthorn Association and MSU's Block and Bridle program.
Following her graduation she intends to pursue an agricultural career in swine and cattle breeding and genetics.
"I see myself involved in agriculture both in my job and during my everyday life," says Sisung, who looks forward to a lifetime of agricultural education, promotion and advocacy.
Thelen, daughter of Steven and Nancy Thelen of Saline, is a senior who will graduate this spring with degrees in agriscience education and animal science, along with a teaching minor in biology. A long list of service to agricultural organizations, from the Saline Lamb Club to the Michigan Angus Association Board of Directors, testifies to her commitment to agriculture.
Thelen intends to complete a post-graduate certificate program to further her education, with the goal of teaching agriscience and biology.
"I know I will always be involved in agriculture," Thelen says. "My future is in agriscience education, promoting and encouraging the leaders of tomorrow."
Marge Karker Scholarship recipients are selected based on criteria such as academic performance, extracurricular achievement, leadership experience, and written references from academic faculty and administrators. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in an agriculture-related program.