Local students awarded scholarships from Schuneman Equipment Co.

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Farm Forum

MILBANK, S.D. – With the development of new technology and high-performance systems for John Deere equipment, it is critically important that customers receive exceptional service from highly-trained employees. As part of Schuneman Equipment Co.’s commitment to fill this need by hiring and developing talented employees support of local scholarship programs continues. In the Spring of 2014, $15,000 has been awarded to area students in partnerships with the National FFA Organization, John Deere and Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association (MSDEDA).

“Our support of scholarship programs is a long-standing effort we are happy to continue. They present educational opportunities for students located in the communities in which we operate,” says Tom Schuneman, General Manager.

The partnership with National FFA Organization and John Deere, Schuneman Equipment has resulted in the award a $12,000 scholarships to six 2014 high school graduates. Each student will receive a $2000 scholarship to be applied to the Fall 2014 tuition at a school of their choice.

Sean Pinkert, Milbank High School graduate, is the son of Gene and Leah Pinkert and received his award May 12 during the Chapter’s annual FFA banquet. Cassie Wilebski, West Central High School in Hartford, S.D., is the daughter of Travis and Kristi Wilebski and received her award May 14 during a school award ceremony. Matt LaVoy and Blake Salmon, are members of the Tracy (Minn.) Area High School graduating class of 2014. LaVoy, son of Gary and Joan LaVoy, and Salmon, son of Jeff and Kris Salmon, both received awards during the Chapter’s annual FFA banquet. All plan to use the funds to pursue degrees from South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.

Brett Knutson, member of the Deuel High School graduating class of 2014. Knutson is the son of Jeff and Jodi Knutson and received his award May 5 during the Chapter’s annual FFA banquet. Annie Hervi, member of the Willow Lake High School graduating class of 2014. Hervi is the daughter of John and Susan Hervi and received her award April 22 during the Chapter’s annual FFA banquet. Both Knutson and Hervi plan to use the funds to pursue a degree from Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, S.D.

FFA scholarships provide financial aid to chapter members attending two or four year colleges. Schuneman Equipment Co. is one of 126 sponsors who contribute more than $2.2 million to support scholarships for students. Scholarship recipients were selected from 6,315 applicants from across the country. Selections were based on the applicant’s leadership, academic record, FFA and other school and community activities, supervised agricultural or work experience in agricultural education and future goals.

Three $1000 awards by MSDEDA are part of the Ken Austin scholarship program. All recipients are pursuing degrees at technical college in Diesel Mechanics. Caleb Michel attends Mitchell Technical Institutes Farm Power Technology program in Mitchell, S.D. Justin Johnson attends North Dakota State College of Science. Jacob Siglin attends Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, S.D. The Ken Austin is a $500 scholarship from MSDEDA plus a $500 match from Schuneman Equipment Co.

The scholarship was founded in memory of Ken Austin who, during his career with MSDEDA, organized, promoted, and taught educational programs for dealers and their employees. The scholarship fund is used to provide scholarships for students, support educational institutions and farm youth groups and to provide educational programs for dealers and their employees and other educational purposes deemed valuable to Minnesota and South Dakota dealers.