Local graduates receive FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative Scholarships
FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative congratulates Abigail Tomandl of Medford, Judson Doman of Rib Lake and Kari Kreklau of Stetsonville as 2020 FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative scholarship recipients. The cooperative recently awarded over $21,000 in scholarships to 27 high school and collegiate students pursuing postsecondary education.
Since 2013, FarmFirst has generously provided scholarships to 192 individuals, awarding more than $166,000 throughout the past eight years.
“This is truly an outstanding scholarship program, made possibly by the commitment of members and board leaders throughout the years to support the future endeavors of our youngest generation involved in agriculture,” said Julie Sweney, director of communications and marketing for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “As students pursue and build their careers, they know that FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is supporting them.”
Abigail Tomandl, daughter of Joe and Christy Tomandl from Medford will be a freshman this fall while pursuing a degree in agricultural studies at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.
“From the first day that I met Abby, she has always been very respectful and willing to listen to my suggestions openly. Inside the classroom, she is a great asset to the rest of the student body for several reasons. Abby is willing to ask questions for clarification at times when many others are likely thinking the same thing. She openly participates in class and benefits her own learning, as well as others, by doing so. Abby has the maturity to understand complex content and her work ethic will only benefit her as she pursues her career,” said Jake Bucki, instructor at Medford Area Senior High. “Another outstanding trait of Abby’s is her ability to communicate in an effective and respectful manner. Many adolescents struggle to communicate respectfully, and Abby has sharpened this important life skill. Her peers have always been grateful for Abby’s willingness to help them.”
Judson Doman, son of John and Christine Doman from Rib Lake, will be a freshman this fall while pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine/animal science at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.
“Judson has many personal characteristics that have him stand out as a leader. Judson has a great maturity level that has allowed him to excel in the classroom and this maturity shows amongst his classmates. He is always taking responsibility for what goes on in his life. He is also seen as a leader amongst his classmates and with this leadership; he brings forth a strong sense of moral principles. Judson’s leadership shows in the classroom by taking the initiative to get things going and by supporting and helping others while working in a group project. Judson is also an easy going individual who has a strong work ethic that positively impacts all areas of his life. I believe these skills and talent will only continue to grow,” says Michelle Rhodes, Rib Lake High School counselor.
Kari Kreklau, daughter of David and Theresa Kreklau from Stetsonville, will be a freshman this fall while pursuing a degree in nursing at Northwestern University.
“Kari is a student that exemplifies being a servantleader by her willingness to put herself out for others. As a varsity basketball team member, Kari has a mission to help both the upper-class members on the varsity team and under class members on the junior varsity team. Kari takes them under her wing to instruct them in athletic fundamentals and to work towards perfecting their game. Without seeming superior, she does this as a caring older sister would. She also makes great efforts to get to know each of the players individually, to spend time with them, to talk and laugh together. She is the rallying point for joy when teammates are victorious. Her teammates know she will be there for them when needed, not only during basketball season but in life as well,” said Frank Von Brocklin, instructor at Northland Lutheran High School.
“Education is a vital piece to the foundation of our cooperative, for our members today and our future members, which includes today’s youth. FarmFirst continues to dedicate resources to building up the next generation of agricultural leaders by giving back to our members and their families,” said Jeff Lyon, general manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “When these students succeed, in the classroom and later on in their careers, we all succeed.”
Scholarship recipients were selected based on leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, essay responses and their future plans and career goals. All members of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative and their children attending four-year universities, two-year technical programs or short courses and high school seniors planning for postsecondary education were eligible to apply for the scholarships.