In an effort to make the college experience just a little bit easier, the South Dakota Cattlewomen are offering two $1,000 scholarships for those looking to get into agriculture.
Lindy Harkin, cattlewomen president, said the group and fellow past presidents came together to combine the cattlewomen’s scholarship and the Halie Cordes scholarship to create the new Next Generation scholarship that will be offered first for the next winter semester.
“We always want to support the youth while promoting beef and encourage young people to enter ag fields,” Harkin said.
The Cordes scholarship, which was funded by the Cordes family and past presidents of the cattlewomen, served as one of two main scholarships the group offered. Between that and the established funds directly through the South Dakota Cattlewomen, Harkin said it wasn’t enough to keep up with ever-increasing college costs.
“We realized that college expenses have just exploded,” she said. “It’s amazing what they have to pay to go to college.”
While Harkin said they have no expectations that $1,000 will cover all a student’s costs, she said that they hope that “a thousand dollars may buy their books” so the students don’t have to worry about at least one major aspect of college costs.
While South Dakota Cattlewomen’s focus is on beef, the scholarship isn’t just limited to those pursuing animal agriculture. Pushing students toward careerss agriculture is becoming a harder task, Harkin said, as the expenses of agriculture operations have skyrocketed while the profits have plummeted.
“Unless those kids have the love of agriculture, it’s pretty hard to get them interested in it,” she said.
The deadline to apply for the first Next Generation scholarship is June 1 and it will be awarded in September. To apply, visit www.sdcattlewomen.org and follow the relevant links.