As winners in the latest round of Michigan Farm Bureau's Marge Karker Scholarships, three bright young minds have earned $1,000 awards toward their agricultural studies at Michigan State University.
Raised in rural Gratiot County, the Breckenridge FFA Chapter piqued Megan Carter’s interest in pursuing an agricultural career. In high school, she served as her FFA Chapter’s treasurer and found her place in its greenhouse overseeing flower orders, day-to-day operations and the annual flower sale.
Further immersing herself in agriculture, Megan showed sheep at the Gratiot County Fair for Youth, even traveling to Oklahoma for a showmanship clinic. Today she builds on these experiences working toward a degree in crop and soil science at Michigan State University.
Megan is active in the Block and Bridle Club as well as Agronomy Club, building her professional networks in and out of the collegiate classroom. Currently in her junior year, she looks forward to using the knowledge gained in the classroom in a future career in seed sales or agronomy consulting.
Grace Herkimer’s passion for livestock was fueled at a young age by raising and showing lambs in 4-H. Working side-by-side with her parents, she learned how to scout crops, monitor yields, fix machinery and care for animals.
She continued this learning in the Dundee FFA chapter where she was the first young woman to take the mechanical applications course. Throughout her time in FFA, she shared her passion for agriculture with K-3 students at Ida Elementary School. Grace coordinated a buddy program for high school FFA students to share agriculture with these younger students.
Now, as a student in Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology at Monroe County Community College (MCCC), she is involved in the Collegiate Farm Bureau and working to turn her agricultural passion into a career.
Grace plans to wrap up her two years at MCCC in spring of 2021 then move on to MSU’s East Lansing campus to complete a bachelor’s degree in animal science, with aspirations to work in livestock research or nutrition.
From a young age, Eleanora Stoller has helped on her family’s farm near Lowell in Kent County, first raising dairy cattle, now raising laying hens, greenhouse crops and producing maple syrup.
When not taking courses, Eleanora helps manage employees in her family’s tomato and strawberry greenhouses. Helping employees who have not had previous experience working on farms or with plants at all motivated her to purse volunteer efforts with a local museum and Agriculture in the Classroom activities; to bring agricultural experiences to those who would not otherwise see how food is raised.
These experiences lead Eleanora to Michigan State University where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in horticulture. After completing her degree, she hopes to continue raising greenhouse crops, selling flowers, vegetables and table grapes in the Grand Rapids area.
In addition, Eleanora hopes to use her plant-growing knowledge to support farmers in developing countries to establish sustainable agricultural practices.
The Marge Karker Scholarship was established in the late 1960s to honor the former coordinator of MFB’s Women's Program. For 20 years she led Farm Bureau members in activities involving citizenship, health, education, legislation, public relations, safety and community improvement projects, all laying the groundwork for today’s Promotion and Education program.
Karker Scholarship applicants must be dependents of a Farm Bureau member or have his/her own Farm Bureau membership in good standing. Contact Amelia Miller, 517-679-5688 for more information.