KALAMAZOO, MI — Jessica Timmer, a Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources student, was honored Saturday, Feb.10, 2018 at Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) Young Farmer Leaders Conference in Kalamazoo as a recipient of the MFB Marge Karker Scholarship. She received a $1,000 award to help fund her MSU education.
Timmer is a sophomore majoring in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education (AFNR). With her goal to become a teacher, she hopes to educate students about agriculture and the many ways, she says, it affects their lives. Jessica is the daughter of Jack and Beth Timmer of Zeeland. Twenty-five year members of the Ottawa County Farm Bureau, they have a three-acre hobby farm where they raise goats, sheep, chickens and 4-H projects, along with pumpkins and fruits for a roadside stand.
“I’ve been involved in agriculture for many years, and one thing that’s always bothered me has been the misinformation that the public is given through the media,” said Jessica. “I’ve had many discussions with people that don’t understand agriculture or where their food is actually coming from. For this reason, I’m pursuing a degree in AFNRE from Michigan State. With this degree, I am hoping to be able to teach people the truth about how their food is produced. I am not sure yet if I will end up in a high school classroom or working with Farm Bureau through Agriculture in the Classroom, but I am aiming at becoming a certified teacher. I’m looking forward to a future of bridging the gap that has formed between farms and consumers.”
Timmer’s exposure to agriculture began at the age of nine with her grandparents and uncles raising hogs, and her volunteering at the Critter Barn, a children’s educational farm in Zeeland.
“The experience gave me my first look at what agriculture is really about, as well as provided me my first job,” said Timmer. “My experiences there have driven me into my chosen field of study. When I was 11, my family moved to the small hobby farm where we live today, and I was given the chance to become involved in 4-H. Through 4-H, I’ve been able to grow as an individual and also an agriculture educator.”
Along with 4-H, Jessica credits her involvement in FFA with growth in many areas.
“I joined FFA my sophomore year of high school at my local technical center,” said Timmer. “There I was able to learn about the many different facets of agriculture as well as get involved in leadership activities. My agriculture teacher was a role model as to what a good teacher should be. He showed me how to engage with people from different backgrounds and get them involved in agriculture.”
With a number of scholastic accomplishments in high school through her involvement in 4-H and FFA, Jessica continues in that vein in college with AFNRE club, RISE, Block and Bridle, Spartan Christian Fellowship and Collegiate Farm Bureau. She also serves on her County Farm Bureau policy development committee.
Note: For more information, contact Amelia Miller at 517-679-5688.