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LOYAL - Vita Plus Loyal and Vita Plus Kennan have selected five high school seniors as recipients of the 2018 “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 of the Vita Plus Loyal scholarships are Dylan Nielsen, Greenwood High School; Rosa Raricks, Loyal High School; Marcus Schroepfer, Antigo High School; and Jillian Tyler, Granton High School.  

This year’s recipient of the Vita Plus Kennan scholarship is Jarett Hoffman, Prentice High School.

Vita Plus Loyal awards

Dylan Nielsen, Greenwood, is the son of Andy and Missy Nielsen. Nielsen grew up on his family’s dairy farm and has been an active member in the Greenwood FFA Chapter and his church’s Luther League. Through these organizations, Nielsen has served his community through fundraisers and community clean-up projects. He is also a part of the school’s wrestling, football, and track and field teams, and he volunteers as a youth wrestling referee in his free time.

Nielsen plans to attend Chippewa Valley Technical College in the fall to study agronomy management. He said, “After I finish my education, I plan on coming back home to my family farm and continue crop farming with my father. I would also like to get into custom crop work for farms in the area.”

Rosa Rarick, Loyal, is the daughter of Roger Rarick. Rarick has developed strong leadership skills from her extracurricular activities and job experiences. She is currently president of the Loyal FFA Chapter and a member of the speaking team and several judging teams. She is also a captain for her softball team and a National Honor Society (NHS) member. In her free time, Rarick works as a tour guide for a cheese plant and as an information systems management specialist for a feed mill.  

Rarick said she knew she wanted to have a career in agriculture since she was a little girl. To reach her goal, she will attend Iowa State University in the fall to pursue a degree in dairy science. She said, “I hope to find a career where I can make a positive impact on my community through agriculture.”

Marcus Schroepfer, Birnamwood, is the son of David and Jolynne Schroepfer. Schroepfer’s life has largely revolved around dairy farming. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm, where he learned how to properly care for the animals and prioritize tasks. He has since taken jobs on other farms and been able to apply these skills successfully. Schroepfer has also been highly involved with his local 4-H and the Antigo FFA Chapter and has provided leadership for his fellow members in various capacities.  

His experiences with dairy farming, 4-H and the FFA have led to his decision to pursue a dairy science degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said, “I would like to become a dairy nutritionist or even a large farm owner or managing partner.”

Jillian Tyler, Granton, is the daughter of David and Karen Tyler. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Tyler learned quickly about the value of hard work, effort, respect and responsibility. While a large part of her tasks on the farm were related to calf care, she also handled all paperwork related to production testing, herd health, and general inventory. The values she learned from working on the farm have guided her in every activity she is involved in, such as 4-H, FFA, and NHS, and led her to become an active participant in her community.  

Tyler plans to attend UW-River Falls and earn a degree in agricultural education with plans to return to central Wisconsin to teach. “Growing up on a dairy farm myself, the dairy industry impacts my life daily,” she said. “However, dairy is not the only thing agriculture has to offer and I would like to help educate others about this.”

Vita Plus Kennan award

Jarett Hoffman, Brantwood, is the son of Donald and Rachel Hoffman. Hoffman has worked on his family’s dairy farm most of his life and is comfortable working on most tasks, such as milking cows, giving vaccinations, working in the fields, and performing routine machinery maintenance. At Prentice High School, Hoffman was class president his sophomore year and a member of the Spanish Club, but he devotes most of his free time to helping with 4-H projects, such as the market animal project, where he was an executive board member and youth director.

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Hoffman believes the future of agriculture will require more “technologically advanced equipment.” He plans to help by attending UW-River Falls and earning his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering technologies. “My degree would help me contribute back to the field of agriculture by designing and testing out new agriculture equipment for fellow farmers to use.”

The employee owners at Vita Plus Loyal and Vita Plus Kennan 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.

“As the agriculture industry continues to evolve, the world will rely on these leaders to continue to provide a safe, nutritious and abundant food supply,” said John Every, Vita Plus Loyal general manager. “The education these students will receive will help ensure the success of the industry for years to come.”

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