Students from the ISU Agriculture Department visit with FFA members during the 2012 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. (Photo by Carrie Muehling/WJBC)
By Carrie Muehling
NORMAL – The Illinois State University Agriculture Department honored students Sunday during its 45th annual agriculture awards program.
Outstanding student nominees are selected by faculty and staff based upon leadership activities and academic excellence. The highest award bestowed upon a student by the department is the Holbert Award, which went to Daniel Herriott. Herriott participated in the Agriculture Future of American program and is in the ISU Honors Program. He is currently president of the ISU chapter of the National Association of Agri-Marketing (NAMA), which was recently named Outstanding Chapter in North America.
This year’s Outstanding Senior is Allison Vogel. Vogel is studying crop and soil science and was vice president of the Ag Science Club. She plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in plant science. Other nominees for Outstanding Senior included: Donald Johnson, Cara Workman, Diane Murray , Katie Chaffin, Neil Carpenter and Frank Balestri.
Receiving the award for Outstanding Junior are two students, Gracie Weinzierl and Brittany Snyder. Snyder is majoring in pre-veterinary medicine and is an active member of the Pre-Vet Club. Weinzierl is double majoring in ag communications and leadership and crop and soil science. She is member of Collegiate FFA/PAS, Alpha Zeta, and Sigma Alpha. Also nominated for Outstanding Junior were: Rachel Shermer, Emily Newell, Kate Myroup, Phyllis Tigges, Garrett Timmons, Michael Ruffatti and Amie Burke.
The department also recognized two students as Outstanding Sophomores this year. Rachel Hoeft is studying agriculture communications and leadership and is an active member of NAMA, as well as an ambassador for the agriculture department. Kristen Faucon is studying ag communications and leadership with a minor in political science. She is the president of Sigma Alpha women’s professional sorority and serves as vice president of Illinois PAS. She serves as an ambassador for the department and is a member of NAMA, Alpha Zeta, and Collegiate FFA. She is also a Presidential Scholar. Others nominated for Outstanding Sophomore include: Katherine Martz and Andrew Katcher.
The department also recognizes an esteemed member of its alumni each year with the Honorary Holbert Award, established in 1928 to honor J.R. Holbert, a corn breeder for Funk Seeds International. It is the highest award bestowed on an individual by the ISU Department of Agriculture. This year’s honoree is Hartsburg-Emden high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Betsy Pech. Pech is a 1978 graduate of ISU and was one of the first women to teach high school agriculture. She has developed a very successful FFA program and in recognition for her teaching excellence was named the 2012 Top Vocational Agriculture Teacher in Illinois.
The department also gave out some faculty awards, including the Harvey S. Woods Outstanding Teaching Award to Dr. David Kopsell, the Outstanding Researcher Award to Dr. Shalamar Armstrong, and the Outstanding Service Award to Dr. Pat. O’Rourke.
A number of students also received scholarship recognition during the program:
Funk Incoming Freshman Scholarship – Emily Novak, Willowbrook HS
Ag Alumni Association Scholarships – Adria Bracken, North Putnam HS and Joshua Meador, Lincoln Community HS
Clarence and Mable Ropp Scholarship – Zachary Wiegand, Deer Creek-Mackinaw HS
1st Farm Credit Services John Leatherbury Scholarship – Andrew Erickson, ROWVA HS
Dr. Clarence Moore Scholarships – Samantha Sims, Bloomington Jr. HS and Yessenia Henderson, Lane Tech
Jill Walker Memorial Scholarship – Evan Jodlowski, Olympia HS
Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship – Kyle Klockenga, Lincoln Community HS; Meghan Moore, Mt. Pulaski HS and Katherine Martz, Grant Park HS
CoBank Scholarships – Wade Williams, Fisher HS; Kymber Nakaerts, Clifton Central HS/Kankakee Community College; Diane Murray, senior in agribusiness
Doris Jean Hextell Scholarship – Emily Schluter, junior in agronomy management
Kelley Family Scholarship – Kristen Faucon, sophomore in agriculture communications and leadership
Pioneer Hi-Bred Crop Production Scholarship – Tyler Gross, junior in agronomy management
Sommer/Enns Scholarship – Andrew Katcher, junior in agribusiness and agronomy management
Harvey Woods Scholarships – Rachel Shermer, junior in agriculture education; Shelby Payne, junior in animal industry management; Ryan Collins, junior in agribusiness/agronomy management; and Gracie Weinzierl, junior in agriculture communications and leadership/crop and soil science.
Outstanding Funk Freshman Scholarship – Rachel Hoeft, sophomore in agriculture communications and leadership
Outstanding Funk Sophomore Scholarship – Brittany Snyder, junior in pre-veterinary medicine
Outstanding Funk Junior Scholarship – Daniel Herriott, senior in agribusiness/agronomy management
GROWMARK Glenn Webb Education Foundation Scholarships – Adam Immke, junior in agribusiness/agronomy management; Emily Newell, junior in agronomy management/crop and soil science; Joshua Stahl, junior in agribusiness/agronomy management and Erin Palm, junior in agribusiness.
Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Scholarship – Morgan Obery, junior in agribusiness and food industry management and Jessi Vance, junior in agribusiness and agronomy management.
Agriculture Faculty Scholarship – Amie Burke, junior in agriculture communications and leadership
John W. Green Scholarship – Jessica Hummel, freshman in animal science
Illinois Soybean Association Scholarship – Michael Ruffatti, junior in agronomy management/crop and soil science
Jim McKee Scholarship – Rebecca Vaessen, junior in agribusiness
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com