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Vita Plus Loyal is proud to name four high school seniors as recipients of the 2016 'Our Future is Agriculture' scholarships.

This program recognizes deserving students with long-term career interests in agriculture. Students must plan to enroll in an accredited vocational/technical institute, community college or four-year college or university that offers an academic major in a field related to agriculture.

The $500 scholarships may be applied toward tuition, room and board, or other expenses. This year's recipients are Austyn-Lee Degenhardt, Greenwood High School; Mikaela Krahn, Loyal High School; Austin Naedler, Granton High School; and Kristyn Nigon, Greenwood High School.

Austyn-Lee Degenhardt, Owen, is active in the Greenwood FFA chapter, participating in a variety of leadership conferences and service activities. Degenhardt has been accepted into the agriscience technician program at Chippewa Valley Technical College and will focus on agronomy and soil science.

He said, 'Working with our farmers, making their lives easier with better techniques, is a challenge I would like to take.'

Mikaela Krahn, Loyal, currently serves as president of the Loyal FFA Chapter and competed with the horse judging team. She also serves as the NHS secretary and vice president of the Loyal Lads and Lassies 4-H Club. This fall, she will attend the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to major in animal science and pre-veterinary medicine.

'I have wanted to work with animals ever since I was small and have loved the agriculture industry for as long as I can remember,' Krahn said. 'I would love to be able to say I made a difference in the agriculture community.'

Austin Naedler, Granton, when not putting in hours on his family's dairy farm, Naedler serves as the Granton FFA vice president of student development and participates in a variety of FFA activities throughout the year. Naedler plans to attend Mid-State Technical College through the farm operations program.

'I want to learn all the changes and challenges in a modern dairy farm,' he said. 'I plan to work on the family farm and someday I would like to become part-owner and help carry on the family tradition.'

Kristyn Nigon, Greenwood, currently serves as president of the Greenwood FFA Chapter and is also active in NHS, student council, band and the Greenwood Satellites 4-H Club. She will attend UW-River Falls to major in animal science and veterinary technology with the goal of becoming a certified veterinary technician.

'I was influenced to study agriculture by growing up on a dairy farm,' Nigon said, 'but it is my determination to obtain a good education that will help me become a viable member of society.'

The employee owners at Vita Plus Loyal recognize that supporting students in their pursuit of agricultural careers is essential to developing the next generation of leaders and innovators in the agriculture industry.

'These students are the faces of tomorrow's agriculture industry,' said Vita Plus Loyal General Manager John Every. 'Building on what they've already achieved in high school, they will become leaders as we provide the growing world with a safe, wholesome and abundant food supply.'

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