The class of 2020 is resilient – we know that to be true, especially amid COVID-19.
Land O’Lakes is proud to recognize three outstanding students of the class of 2020 by awarding them the Land O’Lakes Direct Member Scholarship to be used toward their higher education in the upcoming fall semester.
As a co-op, Land O’Lakes is committed to provide products and services in support of member businesses, while also assisting member communities and families. Three $5,000 scholarships are awarded annually for this purpose. The Direct Member Scholarship program is open to all children and grandchildren of Land O'Lakes' direct producer members.
Similar to previous classes, we received dozens of incredible applications and are happy to recognize Jacob Fernandes, Victoria Longenecker and Abigail Wilwerding as the recipients this year.
Scholarship applications will open again in January 2021. Students pursuing a technical, 2-year or 4-year degree are all eligible to apply.
Meet our 2020 Scholarship Recipients
Jacob Fernandes (Father: Jared Fernandes, Legacy Ranches #1 and #2)
Victoria Longenecker (Grandfather: Frederick England, Penn England, LLC)
Jacob is planning to study political science (pre-law) at Harvard University in fall 2020. He has been heavily involved in sports and academic leadership positions through his high school career.
“Over a decade, everything can change. Going into the year 2020, we live in a radically different world than from just 10 years ago. Now we measure water usage from satellites and almost everybody has a drone. I want to be a contributor to the positive change in agriculture that will invariably come in the next decade. While some may contribute with their hands, the best way for me to make a lasting impact is through law,” says Jacob.
Victoria is attending The Pennsylvania State University to study biological engineering. Through 4H she moved through positions from Historian, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and then President, in addition to many other leadership roles.
Her hope is to use her biological engineering degree to bridge gaps between farmers and consumers. “I want to work with dairy farmers to navigate the difficult and often sensitive environmental regulations that often separate farmers and communities,” says Victoria.
Abigail Wilwerding (Father: James Wilwerding, Wilwerding Dairy, Inc.)
Abigail will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study Geological/Environmental Science. Between being a 12-year member of her 4H club, attending 8 years of Swedish Immersion and receiving awards in livestock and non-livestock projects at the county fair, her academic career has already been busy.
“I believe the real world, day to day experiences I have had on our farm will give me a great perspective for helping solve large scale issues facing our planet. Change is challenging and solutions will not happen without cooperation. I plan to study the geological and environmental sciences at the University of Minnesota, and then pursue a masters or PhD,” says Abigail.
Learn more and how to apply
You can learn more about our 2019 Scholarship Winners here: Lindsay Mendonca (of Mendonca Dairy), Courtney Schrader (of Wil-O-Mar Farm), and Lindsey Brunmeier (of Brunmeier Dairy).
If your children or grandchildren are planning on attending technical school or a 2-year or 4-year college starting in 2021, we encourage you to start thinking about how they can apply next year. Watch for an announcement in January 2021 when the scholarship application window is open.
Until then, join us in congratulating these intelligent, capable students of the class of 2020. We can’t wait to see what you do.