The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has selected three college students to serve as Agvocates in 2014-15.
Maria Wingert, Plainview, University of Minnesota; Kendra Davis, Glenville, South Dakota State University; and Taylor Broderius, Hector, University of Minnesota, will spend the next year developing their agriculture leadership skills while working on behalf of Minnesota’s corn farmers.
MCGA student Agvocates help corn farmers connect with the non-farming public on college campuses and at events throughout Minnesota. Agvocates also use social media to highlight important issues related to corn farming and speak out on behalf of Minnesota’s corn farmers. Other Agvocate activities include contributing to MCGA’s blog (MinnesotaCornerstone.com), participating in media interviews and helping at events such as Farmfest and MN Ag EXPO.
Each Agvocate receives a $3,000scholarship in two parts: $1,500 during their fall semester and $1,500 upon successfully completing their term as an Agvocate.
Broderius grew up on a family farm in Hector raising corn, sweet corn, sugar beets, peas and soybeans. At the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, Broderius is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Industries and Marketing with an emphasis on crops and soils. Broderius is the secretary of his crops and soils club and also serves as the swine chair on the Minnesota Royal Executive team.
“We need to keep developing young leaders with an interest and passion for agriculture,” Broderius said. “As a MCGA student Agvocate, I’m looking forward to working on behalf of Minnesota’s corn farmers and absorbing some new information that I can use as a future leader in agriculture.”
Wingert is studying Agricultural Education and Journalism at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, where she’s involved in the Agri-Marketing Association, College of Food and Natural Resources Mentorship program and Agricultural Education Club. Wingert also recently completed her final year of 4-H after 10 years of showing cattle and indoor projects in Wabasha County, where she grew up on a cattle, corn and soybean farm.
“I want to have a positive influence within agriculture by showing today’s consumers what farming is all about,” Wingert said. “Agriculture literacy is an important issue in the world today, especially since more consumers than ever before do not have a connection to the farm.”
Davis helped raise cattle and grow corn and soybeans on the family farm in Glenville. Now she attends South Dakota State University (SDSU), majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Nutrition. Other ag leadership activities include being president of the Glenville FFA chapter, president of the Myrtle 4-H club and serving as an Ag and Bio Ambassador at SDSU.
“I wanted to become an Agvocate so I could show people what agriculture has to offer,” Davis said.
“Being a student Agvocate for MCGA is a wonderful opportunity for me to grow and be able to make a difference.”
MCGA has almost 7,000 members and represents the interests of Minnesota’s 25,000 corn farmers. The Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) administers the efficient and effective investment of Minnesota’s corn check-off. The shared mission of both organizations is to identify and promote opportunities for corn farmers, while building better connections with the non-farming public.