In the Kankakee County Farm Bureau Foundation’s 16th year of offering educational scholarships, an all-time record eleven recipients have been named. To date, $105,500 in scholarships has been awarded to Kankakee County students who are furthering their agricultural education. Due to continued generous financial support from the community, starting with the 2020 high school graduates, the scholarships will be in the amount of $1,500 each, up from last year’s $1,000 scholarship amount.

For 2020, the eleven Kankakee County scholarship recipients include five recent high school graduates who will each receive a scholarship in the amount of $1,500 and six recipients of the Kevin Yohnka Memorial Renewable Scholarship. For the renewable scholarship recipients, their scholarship amount will match their first year scholarship award of $1,000 each. In order to receive their scholarship payment, additional requirements must met including: each student must earn a “C” grade point average or better in their next grading period at their post-secondary school and they must be a full-time student enrolled in an agriculture related field of study.

Congratulations to these 2020 high school graduates for being selected as part of this year’s Kankakee County Farm Bureau Foundation scholarship recipients.

Kaylyn Bauer graduated from Herscher High School and is the daughter of Lee and Lisa Bauer. Kaylyn plans to study Agricultural Communications and Public Relations at Illinois State University.

Peyton Richie is a graduate of Tri-Point High School and is the daughter of John (Jay) and Tamara (Tammy) Richie. Peyton plans to attend Lakeland Community College and then transfer to either Illinois State University or Western Illinois University to major in Agricultural Communications and minor in Marketing and Management.

The scholarships were offered to high school seniors who either live in Kankakee County or are members of a Kankakee County Farm Bureau member family and are accepted to an accredited post- secondary educational institution in an agriculture related field of study. 

After meeting the initial criteria, the applications were assessed on four categories: demonstrated interest in agriculture and agribusiness, character and personality, academic performance and honors, and financial need.

Due to generous donations and contributions, the County Farm Bureau Foundation was able to award six Kevin Yohnka Memorial Renewable Scholarships to past scholarship recipients students who continue to be enrolled in agriculture related studies. This renewable scholarship is in the amount of $1,000 each.

 Past Kankakee County Farm Bureau Foundation scholarship recipients were invited to submit a one page essay describing their time at college as their application for the renewable scholarship. For payment, the criteria for the renewable scholarship must be met including maintaining a “C” cumulative grade point average or better and being enrolled as a full-time student in an agriculture related field of study.

From the essays submitted Kayla Adams, Benjamin Kuntz, Madison Orr, Carly Sumner, Lane Thiesen, and Emilie Tamblyn were chosen as this year’s Kevin Yohnka Memorial renewable scholarship recipients.

Kayla Adams graduated from Clifton Central High School in 2018 and is the daughter of Jeff and Andra Adams. Kayla studies Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Madison Orr is a 2018 graduate of Herscher High School and is the daughter of William and Sherri Orr. Madison is studying Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Carly Sumner is a 2017 graduate from Herscher High School and is the daughter of Steven and Ronda Sumner. Carly studies Animal Sciences at Illinois State University.

We wish each of these students continued success in their educational experiences.

The Kevin Yohnka Memorial Renewable Scholarship is named in honor of Kevin Yohnka for his leadership and dedication to agricultural education. Yohnka was a founding member of the County Farm Bureau Foundation and was passionate about raising funds for the County Farm Bureau Foundation. He was serving as the Foundation’s Treasurer as well as Vice President of the Kankakee County Farm Bureau board at the time of his passing in 2012. Through this scholarship, Yohnka’s legacy of leadership lives on.

The Foundation board consists of the following volunteers: Paula Karlock, President; Kelly Knobloch, Vice President; Katelynn Ohrt, Secretary; Patrick Koerner, Treasurer; and Directors Clay Abbott, Dr. Joseph Meisenbach, and Ted Petersen.

This scholarship program was made possible through generous contributions and donations to the County Farm Bureau Foundation from supportive individuals, organizations, and businesses. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible and are accepted throughout the year and should be sent to: Kankakee County Farm Bureau Foundation, 1605 West Court Street, Kankakee, IL 60901. For more information on the Foundation, the scholarship program, and ways to contribute, call the Farm Bureau office at (815) 932- 7471.