Going to college is a goal that, if met, can leave behind a burden: debt. The Ava and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship aims to lessen that burden for 4-H youth.
Started in 2008 with a bequest from a longtime 4-H agent and her husband, this scholarship's aim is to help 4-H youth to attend Minnesota colleges or universities. Thanks to continuing contributions from many people, the Schroeder scholarship has done this for dozens of Minnesotans over the past 12 years.
A leader with dairy industry passion
"The Schroeder Scholarship eased the burden of financing college," said 2020 recipient Isaac Rott. He is studying agribusiness and plans a career in the dairy industry. Isaac comes from a dairy farm in Olmsted County and has won state and national 4-H dairy competitions. Now starting his freshman year at the University of Minnesota, Isaac also sees an important opportunity to educate folks in the Twin Cities and other urban centers about the role of Minnesota agriculture in ensuring a safe and reliable food supply.
He credits 4-H with giving him the chance to build leadership skills in a supportive environment - through projects and club officer positions. Effective leadership is something he hopes to take from 4-H into both business and life.
He also plans to stay involved with 4-H. "I’ll return to assist as a 4-H volunteer in the dairy project area, like dairy judging, dairy project bowl and dairy cattle exhibiting at fairs," he said. Isaac is grateful for the learning, the camaraderie and the financial help with college he’s accessed through 4-H. "My life wouldn't be the same without it," he said.
Addressing malnutrition through genetic research
Emily Jopp is interested in genetics. Although she has excelled in 4-H animal science competitions, she is beginning her studies in plant science at the University of Minnesota. The common thread is genetics.
She first got interested in genetics during artificial insemination efforts to improve Charolais beef cattle on her family's farm in Stearns County. It was on a mission trip to Haiti several years ago where Emily became aware of extreme hunger, and the benefits of a plant-based diet to address it.
"Pursuing a college education will allow me to combine my passions for helping others and agriculture with my interest in genetics," Emily said. I want to engineer a crop that combats a major issue like malnutrition, drought or disease." She will do this through lab and field research.
"Plants are everywhere. The human population is growing, but available farmland is not. This is a major problem that I am very passionate about. I cannot wait to do my part to help create a solution," she said. The Schroeder scholarship will reduce the amount of loans she will need to take out to pay for college.
You can help support educational goals for 4-H'er like Emily and Isaac. Make a gift to help more 4-H youth afford higher education.