Farmer Cooperatives Young Leaders Scholarship Program

The Farmer Cooperatives Young Leaders Scholarship Program is for college students who have an interest in agribusiness and cooperatives.The program is a great opportunity for interaction between students and agribusiness leadership, exposing students to different segments of the agricultural cooperative sector, and enhancing students’ preparedness to enter careers in the agriculture industry.

Each scholarship recipient must attend the Farmer Cooperatives Conference, November 6-8, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Students will be recognized at the conference welcome reception, and will be paired with agribusiness leadership during the conference luncheon. It is expected that award recipients will submit a short statement outlining their experience at the Farmer Cooperatives Conference.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at any University of Wisconsin System school are eligible.
  • Scholarships are based on 2019-20 academic year status.
  • Recipients must attend the entire Farmer Cooperatives Conference (defined as arriving no later than 6 pm on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 and leaving no earlier than 12 pm on Friday, November 8, 2019).

Award Description:
The Farmer Cooperatives Young Leaders Scholarship includes:

  • Full conference registration,
  • Travel stipend of $100 for transportation to St. Paul, MN,
  • Two nights lodging at the conference hotel, and
  • Money to cover meals and incidental expenses not covered by conference registration.

To Apply
Please use the link below to submit your application


Post conference requirements: A paragraph highlighting your conference experience and the impact on your education and future career prospects.

Selection Procedure  & Schedule

  • Applications due: October 11, 2019
  • Students notified: October 18, 2019
  • Students attend Farmer Cooperatives Conference: November 6-8, 2019
  • Submit post-conference report: December 6, 2019

Contact info: 

Megan Webster, Outreach Specialist, UW Center for Cooperatives,, 608-890-1048

The Farmer Cooperatives Young Leaders Scholarship Program is made possible through the generous support of the Renk Agribusiness Institute and the William and Harold Moy Young Leaders Scholarship Fund.

While my high school goal to someday work as an agronomist hasn’t changed, what type of company I choose to work for may change. After attending the Farmer’s Cooperatives Conference, I feel more excited about working for a cooperative than any private company. The unique sense of ownership and pride in your work that the cooperative system provides seems to excite me. Additionally, the cooperatives unique ability to prioritize customer and community needs better suits me and the things I value. While my career goal hasn’t changed, after attending this conference I am feeling more clearly led to pursue a career for a farmer owned cooperative and be able to have the unique relationship of calling my customers my employers.

Samuel Jesse, Farmer Cooperatives Young Leaders Scholarship Program participant, 2019

As far as topics at the conference, I would say I was must impressed by the technology that was discussed. I worked at a small-town coop that still used a database from the early 90’s so getting to see coops on the cutting edge with blockchain extremely interesting. It was also really interesting to see how the international cooperative that presented to us used technology to aid and serve farmer-members. Additionally, I was truly surprised with and overjoyed at the constant theme of lifting up young leaders and preparing to learn from them. It is so heartening to see an industry you care so much about actively cares about you as well and wants to give you a seat at the metaphorical table.

Addison Arndt, Farmer Cooperatives Young Leaders Scholarship Program participant, 2019