Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship supports agriculture talent

Farm Forum

HURON, S.D. – Growing up on a ranch near Wall gave Emily Helms a deep respect for the land and a passion for the people that make up South Dakota’s agricultural industry.

Thanks to Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship, Helms is currently working toward a graduate degree in Range Science so she can pursue a career working to help cattle producers manage their grassland.

“I still have undergraduate debt to pay off, so this scholarship really helped me out. It basically covered this year of graduate study,” says the South Dakota State University graduate student.

The $2,500 Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota’s agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business, agriculture education at an accredited South Dakota school.

“Education is our future. This scholarship is one way Farmers Union works to help retain highly skilled individuals in South Dakota,” said Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director of South Dakota Farmers Union.

Helms says because she’s not worried about paying for school this year, she is able to focus all her time on her studies and research project. Working with Professor of Natural Resource Management, Sandy Smart, Helms’ research looks at soil moisture and temperature in relationship to high stocking densities/mob grazing. She has research plots set up in Quinn, Eureka, Chamberlain and Brookings.

“Working with ranchers through this research has reinforced my desire to make range science my career,” she says.

Scholarship Deadline is June 1

Farmers Union is now taking applications for the 2014 Foundation Scholarship through June 1, 2014. Students interested in applying for the 2014 scholarship should visit the Farmers Union website,