$2,500 scholarship designed to support future of agriculture

South Dakota Farmers Union
Farm Forum

HURON, S.D. - Advancements in agriculture research and technology are essential to tomorrow’s farmers and ranchers. To support the future of South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers, Traveler’s Motor Club, together with the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, provides a $2,500 scholarship annually to a South Dakota graduate student pursuing an agriculture degree.

“Educating the next generation is something our organization supports and invests in,” Doug Sombke, SDFU president, said. “It’s through research and education that our state’s family farmers and ranchers are able to make informed decisions that lead to increased yields, better livestock genetics and help us in resource stewardship.”

Chris Nelson, 38, was the 2019 recipient. A research assistant at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., and a father of two, Nelson said the $2,500 scholarship helped him and his family balance school expenses while supporting their young sons, Rhett and Liam. “Not having to figure out how to pay for school this semester is an enormous weight off my shoulders,” said Nelson, who is pursuing a master of plant science degree with an emphasis in plant breeding.

Helping South Dakotans, like Nelson, advance their knowledge to help other South Dakotans, is the reason Traveler’s Motor Club has sponsored this graduate scholarship for the last 36 years. “We believe in rural America and the farm community. Working with Farmers Union to sponsor this scholarship is one small way to help,” said Gene Hammond, president and principle owner of Traveler’s Motor Club.

Scholarship deadline

Eligible graduate students include on-campus and distance education students who are pursuing any agriculture master’s or doctoral program, agriculture teacher certification program (CERT/FCSC) or graduate certificate program (GCERT).

To apply for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation scholarship, graduate students need to apply by Dec. 15 by visiting or call Karla Hofhenke, SDFU executive director, at 605-352-6761, Ext. 114.

SDSU Research Associate Chris Nelson was the 2019 recipient of the SD Farmers Union Graduate Student Scholarship.