Northeastern Junior College’s Agriculture Department celebrated another successful year and handed out over $57,000 in scholarships at its 55th annual awards banquet Tuesday.
While presenting scholarships, Mike Anderson, chair of the department, shared that longtime NJC supporter and former faculty member Bob Plank recently came to the department and asked what he could do to gather friends and supporters to help the department. In the current budget situation, NJC and the ag department have lost some of their footing in institutional scholarships, so faculty members told Plank they would like to have scholarships available for incoming freshmen and sophomores in the rodeo, livestock judging and ranch horse versatility teams, as well as incoming freshman in different areas of ag study.
As he always does, Plank got to work and with assistance from the NJC Foundation was able to help the department come up with 42 new scholarships.
“We’re pretty excited about that,” Anderson said.
Among the new scholarships are 12 from Joey Steger and Nutrien Ag Solutions for the ranch horse versatility, rodeo and livestock judging teams, as well as incoming freshman scholarships in agriculture business and soil and crop science.
Also, a partnership was also developed with eight Bank of Colorado presidents from northeast Colorado pulling together their sponsorship money to support 22 high schools in the area with incoming freshmen scholarships, as well as other activities on campus and returning sophomore scholarships.
“I am just taken back by the amount of money that’s being given to this college, it is a true testament to the kind of education you can get here at NJC and a true testament to the success of our NJC graduates willing to come back and give to students so that they can experience the same kind of positive education that they had,” said Mark Kokes, president of the NJC Alumni Association, as he asked the current students to encourage others think about attending NJC and in the future think about giving back to the college financially through its sponsorship program.
Scholarship recipients include:
• Bob and Norma Plank Scholarship – Breanna Butchart, Kaden Humrich and Charlee Sommers
• Keith and Nell Propst Memorial Scholarship – Joslyn King and Jessie Wallace
• Michael and Sandy Underwood Scholarship – Jade Thurber
• Brickel Brothers Scholarship – Rori Masterson and Brooke Gary-Wagner
• Fleming Saddle Club Scholarship – Audrey Glynn
• Jeffrey Grauberger Memorial Scholarship – Trista Hernandez
• Fred Sneath Memorial Scholarship – Kellum Carnahan
• Hilbert Kahl Memorial Agriculture Education Scholarship – Clayton Marty
• National Western Stock Show – Bryce Kendrick, Eleanor Woodward, Brooklyn Plumb and Sarah Liepold
• Bank of Colorado Scholarship – Kellum Carnahan, Faye Klenda, Brock White, Trista Hernandez, Kaycee Edmonds, Trista Lebsack, Clayton Marty and Blane Endsley
• Adam Ginther Memorial Scholarship – Tate Talkington
• Justin Covelli Memorial Ag Scholarship – Danielle Moon
• Northeast Colorado Bull Test and Great Western Beef Expo Scholarship – Laura Vorce
• Cal West Memorial Scholarship – Olivia Cullen
• Don Langdon Scholarship – Jenna Wieser
• Ag Business Scholarship – Peyton Munroe
• Ag Soil and Crop Science Scholarship – Madison Dreier
• Ben Cookley Judger – Page Porter
• Nutrien Ag Solutions – Trista Lebsack, Faye Klenda, Sarah Dunning, Brock White and Grace Eck
There were also a number of awards handed out. The Aggies Club Outstanding Freshman was Swantayla Poola, Outstanding Sophomore was Danielle Burge and President Alexis Camara was given a plaque in recognition of her service this year.
Next, the NJC Collegiate Farm Bureau was recognized, it had six students who competed “very, very well” at the annual discussion meet in Denver, and then had the largest turnout at a leadership conference held in Fort Collins. At that conference, the leaders were impressed with the students’ professionalism and their interest and insight into the Farm Bureau program. Most recently, at a meet in Florida, multiple state presidents and advisors and program directors complimented NJC students for their professionalism and composure.
The Outstanding Sophomore Farm Bureau award was presented to Kylee Workman, Outstanding Freshman were Wyatt Wiedeman and Austin Hays, and the club president, Stevie Thate, received a plaque.
The livestock team put in 41,000 miles traveling to 11 different competitions this year, with the sophomore team placing individually in the top 10 several times and the team earning reserve champion titles, while the freshmen team was fifth high team in beef at their final conference.
Award recipients included Outstanding Sophomore Sydney Baldwin and Outstanding Freshman Kellum Carnahan.
The rodeo team made 10 out of 10 short round qualifications this year with Wacey Day finishing third in the region in the goat-tying event and the women’s team placing fifth in the region. Award winners included Top Cowgirl Wacey Day, Top Cowboy Carson Zacharias and Top Academic Award recipient Emily Romero.
Additionally, the ranch horse versatility team had a successful year, with a highlight being the record-breaking fall show that the team hosted in Eaton, with 130 entries every day for three days. Team award winners for the year included Carson Zacharias, All Around; Reyna Kellenand Colton Basher, Most Improved; and Marie Ruddick, Work-Horse.
Later, Outstanding Welding Awards were presented to Josh Arend for fall 2022 and Brock White for spring 2023 and the Outstanding Student Award for Adult Ag Business Management went to Erica Brewer.
Two faculty awards were handed out. Amanda Morgan was recognized as Star Performer and Larry Pollart received the North American College and Teachers of Agriculture Award.
Several students received Outstanding Certificates for their program areas including: Agri-Business – Tyler Glassburn, Ag Business – Abby Scholz, Agriculture Education – Demin Lister, Animal Science – Gracie Day, Equine Management – Zoey Boos, Equine Science – Elianna Eddingfield and Production Agriculture – Hunter Brenner (fall graduate) and Hannah Vondy (spring graduate).
The coveted Mr. Jack Annan Outstanding Ag Student awards went to Denim Lister and Abby Scholz, who was also recognized as a Colorado Community College System Rising Star award recipient along with Alexis Camara.