LINCOLN, NEB.– The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation awarded 10 scholarships to students enrolled in the Agricultural Education Teaching Program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL).

“Each of these 10 students have demonstrated a passion for agriculture and excitement to continue to grow the agricultural education and FFA programs in Nebraska,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “We are happy to support scholarships that align with our vison of developing strong agricultural leaders to ensure a bright future for agriculture in Nebraska.”

Each recipient will receive a $1,500 scholarship during his or her student teaching semester at the university. Applicants shared why they wanted to be an agricultural education teacher, professional goals for the future, and what the scholarship would mean to them.

“UNL continues to see an increase in students entering the teaching profession compared to prior to this scholarship program just four years ago.  These teachers are filling a vital need in communities across Nebraska.” said Matt Kreifels, associate professor of practice in agricultural education at UNL. “We sincerely appreciate the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for supporting these future teachers through this scholarship program.  Farm Bureau, its members, and the Foundation are helping to ensure a strong foundation for the future of agriculture in this state by investing in these young teachers.”

The 10 recipients of the scholarships are Christy Cooper, Waverly; Aaron Hemme, Fremont; Karlee Johnson, Thurston; Vanessa Knutson, Palmyra; Katie Nolles, Bassett; William O'Brien, Newman Grove; Kara Philips, Bertrand; Alex Stocker, Grand Island; Sheridan Swotek, Lincoln; Monica Wasielewski, Bushnell.

Scholarship recipients were honored at the Nebraska Career Education (NCE) Conference in Kearney, June 5.

At the conference, the Foundation announced a call for applications for the Nebraska Agricultural Education Teacher Retention Program. Current teachers who have existing student loans and are in their first through fifth year of teaching are invited to apply. Applications can be found at www.nefbfoundation.org and are due July 1.

The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.