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Focus on the Foundation: The Family Farm

Focus on the Foundation: The Family Farm

Fall 2014

Nov 12, 2014

Scholarships from the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation helped two recent agribusiness grads continue family traditions.

Kaitlyn Tesch, a 20-year old Oconto Falls native, received both the Heartland Women for Agriculture and Fox Valley Technical College Foundation scholarships. A fifth-generation dairy farmer, Tesch always knew she wanted to study agriculture. “I was just going to take one semester at Fox Valley Tech, but I enjoyed it so much that I stayed and earned my degree,” she says. “I learned a lot about dairy, livestock, agronomy, and the business side of agriculture.”

Tesch is currently working at the regional United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, connecting local farmers and producers to related agriculture support programs. She is also completing her bachelor’s degree online with another school. “Though I worked full time while going to Fox Valley Tech, the scholarship helped me stay out of debt and it boosted my confidence,” she says.

The Heston Allen Scholarship winner, 21-year-old Justin Schwahn, hopes to eventually oversee his family’s 90-cow dairy farm. The Reedsville native spent last year as a volunteer state officer for the National FFA Organization, traveling throughout the state educating consumers and agriculture professionals. He is currently working full time on the family farm. “I call myself a manager,” he says. “I train employees, manage the herd’s reproductive dairy activity, and help with financial records.”

Both Schwahn and Tesch believe that FVTC gave them the support and education they needed, as well as the confidence to reach their goals. “The scholarship brought me out of my shell,” says Schwahn. “I never would have believed that I’d be doing what I am today without help from the Foundation and Ag department.”

Learn more about the Agribusiness/Science Technology program >>