OSA SCHOLARSHIP SUCCESS STORIES

Morgan Aerni
2016 OSA Memorial Scholarship
Morgan’s story: My past scholarships awards have helped ease the financial strain of attending Oregon State. (My parents are paying for half of my schooling.) Receiving awards has allowed me to further my education and make payments easier on my family. I have wanted to become a veterinarian since I was little, and accepting the scholarships will allow me to have a financial backing to proceed to veterinary school. Accepting the scholarships means a great deal to me, it shows me that my hard work is paying off. Many people drop out of college because of financial reasons or the classes weren’t for them. Being in my junior year at OSU, I have realized that these past few years have prepared me for the years to come.

Ashley Williamson
2015 OSA Memorial Scholarship
Ashley’s story: I am so thankful for the OSA scholarship committee and the other wonderful committees who have offered me scholarships to help with my tuition. Anything helps when you are doing everything you can to better yourself and your future. These scholarships are supporting me in my journey of becoming a Physical Therapist, helping those who are in pain, return to their normal daily routines. I have so much gratitude for all the assistance the OSA scholarship committee,has provided me with during my first year of college. I believe I am excelling by maintaining a 3.80 GPA and still finding time to indulge myself in extracurricular activities. Overall, reaching my goals has become more obtainable with the help of the OSA scholarship.

Tanner Holland
2015 & 2016 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Tanner’s story: The OSA scholarship committee has made tremendous contributions in the advancement of my education. The awards I have received from the Oregon Seed Association have helped ease the substantial financial burden that comes with obtaining a higher education, and have allowed me to direct my focus on my studies. Being a recipient of two scholarship awards from the OSA means a great deal to me and my family. It is a gratifying and humbling experience to have been recognized for hard-earned academic success by members of the seed industry here in Oregon. The relationships I have been able to form along the way through the OSA are invaluable, and are relationships that I will cherish throughout my lifetime. I hope that one day I will get to be a part of a program like the Oregon Seed Association scholarship committee, which puts so much effort into continued growth of the industry and support of future generations. Thank you.

Chase Cochran
2014 OSA Memorial Scholarship
Chase’s story: I would personally like to say thank you to the Oregon Seed Association (OSA), for investing in my future by granting me a scholarship. It is organization such as the OSA that confirms my belief that the agricultural business sector is where I want to work when I complete my Agricultural Sciences degree this spring. The OSA realizes the importance of investing in the education of the next generation in the agricultural workforce. As a fulltime student majoring in Agricultural Sciences and working a part time job, I spend the majority of my extra time working to better myself in the classroom. The financial assistance I received allowed me to spend fewer hours at my part time occupation and more time studying class material. After receiving my scholarship from the OSA it gave me confirmation that my hard work and dedication to my further education is not only worth it, but it is also being noticed. I cannot thank the OSA and the scholarship committee enough for investing in my education.

Riley Merrigan
2014 OSA Memorial Scholarship
Riley’s story: I would like to thank the Oregon Seed Association for selecting me as a scholarship recipient back in 2014. Over the past two years I have been attending the University of Idaho, and I am currently majoring in Animal and Veterinary Science: Business Option. In the academic year of 2014-15, the scholarship that I received from the OSA helped in supporting me throughout the year. School is not cheap, especially when you are going out of state, and the extra help from this scholarship helped take some of the weight off of my back so that I could focus on academics and involvement on campus. With the help from this scholarship I have been able to remain successful in my classes and maintain a 4.0 GPA. As well as be active on campus in many different ways. I am currently a member of the agriculturally based Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, where I am currently serving in my second Executive Board Position. I served as the Secretary and Treasurer for Collegiate Farm Bureau in 2015-16. I was hired onto the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ Student Success Intern Team as the Employer Relations Intern in August of 2015, and am now a CALS Ambassador. Without the help from the Oregon Seed Association and others, I would not have been able to take the steps I have and afforded school, let alone stay so involved with my college. Thanks to this additional support I have been able to stay successful and involved in all facets of my education. Again, thank you for the scholarship and the help with my pursuit of a higher education.

Morgan Aerni
2014 OSA Memorial Scholarship
Morgan’s story: My past scholarship awards have helped ease the financial strain of attending Oregon State. My parents are paying for half of my schooling. Recieving awards has allowed me to further my education and make payments easier on my family. I have wanted to become a veterinarian since I was little, and accepting the scholaships will allow me to have a financial backing to proceed to veterinary school. Accepting the scholarships means a great deal to me, it shows me that my hard work is paying off. Many people drop out of college because of financial reasons or the classes weren’t for them. Being in my junior year at OSU, I have realized that these fast few years have prepared me for the years to come.

Mitch Evers
2013 & 2015 OSA/OSU Scholarship
2013 American Seed Trade Association Scholarship

Mitch’s story: Being selected as a recipient of the ASTA scholarship has most definitely helped me to continue making steps toward my academic goals. I just moved into an awesome house right off campus; being able to pay rent is wonderful. However, I think the biggest influence the ASTA funds have had thus far is going to take full effect this winter term. On January 1st, I board a plane to Concepcion, Chile and will be studying abroad for the whole term through OSU’s Ag and Natural Resources program. I’m excited to be immersed in a whole new culture, and to see the Chilean geography. I also know that South America has a huge influence on the world agriculture market, and I’m really looking forward to seeing that from an inside perspective. If I had to select one specific thing the ASTA funds were spent on, it would have to be airfare to get to Chile and back, but the wisdom and the experience I’m going to get from the trip are items that I think will have a significant impact on my pursuit of the betterment of agriculture in the future. I’m tremendously grateful to be a recipient of the scholarship funds!

Evanne Domaschofsky Gutierrez
2013 Memorial Scholarship

Evanne’s story: With the assistance of the OSA scholarship, I was able to take a heavier course load to complete my Associates in Agriculture from Linn Benton Community College. It provided me the ability to fully focus on my studies, resulting in good grades. But most of all it allowed me to not have to stress over not having enough money to pay for tuition and books for the courses I needed to finish my degree. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the OSA scholarship is available. Without it this last year would have been a real struggle. Now I continue with my goals on getting my Bachelors at Oregon State University.

Melissa McKenney Broussard
2008 & 2009 OSA/OSU Scholarship

Melissa’s story: I was an ambitious undergraduate student, working on a thesis on cranberry pollination along the southern Oregon coast when I first applied for a scholarship from the Oregon Seed Association. For three months out of the year, I made a weekly 440-mile-roundtrip to my field sites, which put a huge strain on my time–especially as I was juggling school and work in the early summer. Getting support meant a lot to me at that time; not only did it mean I had to worry less about money, it meant that industry supported the study of pollinators that I was so passionate about. Scholarships like those given out by OSA send a clear message to students that industry is willing to support science, and that there are opportunities for professional research outside of academia. As someone who loved science but knew the ivory tower wasn’t the place for me, this message was hugely important.

These scholarships helped me save up for graduate school, where I completed a MS in Entomology focused on Oregon’s native bees, and I am now pursuing a PhD in New Zealand, focusing on pollinators, the cause of pollination failure, and carrot seed production. When I am done, I intend to do agricultural research in an extension, nonprofit, or industry context.

Christy McCarthy
2012, 2012 & 2013 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Christy’s story: The Oregon Seed Association scholarship has impacted my life in several ways. Being a third time recipient of this scholarship, it has helped me financially for three years during my college career. I am responsible for paying 100% of my expenses to attend college and I have worked every summer since 2000 working on my family’s farm to save up money for college so I can focus completely on my studies as I go through school. Having done this, I have learned the true value of a dollar and just how much work goes into earning money. I have also learned how quickly the money made, drains from my bank account while paying for college tuition. The Oregon Seed Association scholarship has helped ease my burden and worry about how much money goes towards my tuition every term. With continued support from scholarships, it has given me an extra incentive to do well in my classes so I don’t disappoint those who have worked hard to invest my education.

Since the Oregon Seed Association scholarship committee has selected me for the third year in a row, I feel as though I have more people believing in my ultimate goals of my education. From the financial assistance I have received, I have made the decision to further my education past my Baccalaureate degree and to go on to Graduate school to get my masters in Plant Breeding and Genetics and hopefully end up having a positive impact on Oregon’s Agriculture.

Ann Bernert
2012 & 2013 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Ann’s story: I want to thank you for all your generous support of Oregon State University student’s interest in fields related to the seed industry. This scholarship has made a very positive impact on my academic experience as has done it done for many of my peers as well. The OSA scholarship makes an incredibly positive influence in the community and especially in the lives of the students.

With my OSA scholarship in 2013, I was able to independently purchase all my textbooks, notebooks, and online instruction for a year. While it may only seem like a small impact at face value, I cannot emphasize enough how much of a burden was lifted due to this small blessing. Not having to stress about funding for those allowed me to focus more entirely on studying and classes. Especially when my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in early spring, there were so many things to feel stressed and worried about. Because of this scholarship, being able to buy textbooks wasn’t one of them. Each one of these small tools is critical to success in the classroom. This success will help carry me into graduate school and then a rewarding career. Without the small accomplishments of an A on a final, or continuing with a strong GPA, momentum towards this goal would be hindered.

With the scholarship I was awarded this year, I will be able to cover 3 months of rent and utility costs independently. This award came at a critical time-my mother passed away from her cancer this fall. Fees and affording rent is the last thing my family and I want to worry about. With this scholarship, we won’t have to.

Not only does this scholarship help with financial matters, it also motivates me to continue to pursue a career related to this field. This scholarship is a reminder that I can bring value to the world cares through my research and professional interest, are that there are opportunities available in this field. It is a gift that someone believes in me and recognizes the work and effort I have invested in my education. The motivation invigorates me to continue my exploration into improving honey bee and pollinator health for the benefit of the seed industry.

Thus, this support is vital beyond words. While no amount of money can purchase inspiration, you have provided me with an immeasurable amount. Being awarded this scholarship helps me trust in my career path decisions while providing the tools to be able to attain it.

Simon Fraher
2013 & 2015 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Simon’s story: It is with great pride that I accept the Oregon Seed Associated Scholarship. Your confidence in me and in other students is respectable, and it is your generosity that keeps us able to attend college. As you may well know, the cost of education has become crippling for many families. As an out-of-state student, I have become particularly aware of this. Scholarships like yours have provided me the opportunity to attend college, and the option to leave my home state in search of a more influential career. Your funds will be used to keep financial stress to a minimum so that I can employ nearly all of my efforts toward academics and professional networking. In addition, you have helped my family greatly by allowing me to fund my tuition more independently.  My mother has had recent health problems, and any tuition payments I can make on my own directly result in better access to healthcare for her. I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate this. It is not just this student that benefits from your generosity, but also those who I will affect in my life. One day, your organization will benefit as well.

Jaimee Brentano
2013 & 2015 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Jaimee’s story: Thank you so much for awarding me a scholarship from the Oregon Seed Association. I cannot express how much this means to me and my education. It is because of you and scholarships such as this that I am able to pursue a career in agriculture education.

I grew up in agriculture and have been lucky enough to pursue a career in it through a college education. However this would not be possible without help from many associations such as the OSA. I am fully responsible for my own expenses while in college and because of scholarships I am thus far debt free. Additionally, most of this has come from agricultural associations who are willing to help young agriculturalist earn a college education. As a future educator, I think this is so wonderful that so many people have invested in the future of agriculture. It is such a crucial industry and definitely one worth providing a secure future for.

I look forward to my future in agriculture and seeing where this industry goes. I too want to help provide for the future of agriculture through education. Thank you again for your award, I am grateful.

Gabriel Flick
2013 & 2015 William Kent Wiley Jr. Memorial Fellowship
Gabe’s story: There is little debate that education is expensive. The cost can often be a deterrent to prospective students. The gift of scholarships, grants, and fellowships however, can often be key in allowing a student to continue their education.

I chose to pursue my undergraduate education out of state, and thus incurred a large tuition bill every term. I personally paid for my education by working three jobs and farming. Scholarships were hard to come by because I was an out of state student. Organizations from my home state didn’t want o sponsor a student who was leaving, and organizations from my schools region wanted to sponsor students from their area. Therefore, I tended to be denied so I acquired more work hours to help pay the bills. There came a point my junior year where I was nearly unable to meet my obligations and a timely scholarship allowed me to stay in school instead of taking a term off to work. I was extremely grateful.

I am glad to see the seed industry’s generous support of students at this university. The students that you are sponsoring will become the seed-men, and women, of the future. They will keep the industry strong and growing. I know, I for one, look forward to a time when I am able to provide the same sort of gift to a student that was so generously given to me.

Chase Cochran
2012 & 2014 OSA Memorial Scholarship
2015 ASTA Scholarship
Chase’s story: I was an Oregon Seed Association scholarship recipient in 2012. College tuition costs continue to rise, making it very difficult for people to afford college. I’m very grateful to have been a recipient of an OSA scholarship. The scholarship helped me afford to attend my freshman year at Colorado State University with a major in Crop and Soil Science.

I hope scholarships through the OSA are available for years to come so others may benefit from their generosity. Scholarships are a very important piece of the financial puzzle that will allow students to attain their goals of a college degree.

Austin Fricker
2009 ASTA Scholarship
2011 OSTA Memorial Scholarship
Austin’s story: I would like to express my gratitude to ASTA and OSA for the support I received during my undergraduate career. I am a past recipient of both an ASTA and OSA scholarship, and the support I received allowed me to pursue more as an undergraduate; I successfully graduated with a double major in Crop Science and International Studies. I am currently working on a Masters degree in plant breeding and genetics at Oregon State University, and upon completing my graduate studies I plan on returning to work for my family seed company Pure Seed Inc. Once again, I would like to thank ASTA and OSA for helping me to achieve my academic goals so that I can one day become a significant contributor to the seed industry.

Dustin Herb
2010 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Dustin’s story: I was the recipient of an OSA scholarship in 2010. I received a BS degree from OSU in Crop Science, and am now pursuing a Masters degree from Texas A&M in Plant Breeding and Genetics. I will be returning to OSU to pursue a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genomics.

Frank Prantl
1989 OSA/OSU Scholarship
Frank’s story: I received a scholarship from the Oregon Seed Association (Oregon Seed Trade Association at the time). I have spent most all of my career in the seed industry. I began as a field technician on The Scotts Company’s research farm, then became a field representative at various seed companies, was the field department manager for Pennington Seed, and am currently a field representative with Integrated Seed Growers where we offer contract field services for multiple seed companies.

I was raised on a family farm by old fashioned parents who did not have college educations and did not believe in taking out loans for anything – it was up to me, with support from my parents, to fund my college education. The OSA scholarship I received helped pay for two terms of tuition, and helped me to remain on track to finish my education. Trying to balance a work schedule to pay for school and obligations to the family farm could have provided enough distraction to not finish college. The scholarship I received help ease the burden of juggling all of these and focus on my coursework.

My years in the seed business working with family farms has allowed me to see many young people faced with the same challenges. I hope that the OSA can continue awarding these scholarships, and that the ASTA will support this great program as well.