High School: Sauk Prairie, 2018
College Attending: University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Animal Science
The heartbreak of losing her father seven years ago brought a silver lining for Sarah. Drawing strength from witnessing her dad refuse to give up in his battle with cancer, Sarah has a fearless spirit to get through tough times. She also has carried on one of his memorable traits, that achieving goals comes from working hard.
Sarah has done just that in her teenage years. The last five years, she has cared for cows and horses as a farmhand, including a stint with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin. What’s more, Sarah raised and sold livestock with an agribusiness she started in eighth grade through a Supervised Agricultural Experience in school.
Combine extensive leadership experience in FFA, 4-H, Student Council and athletics with exemplary success in the classroom as her class valedictorian with a 4.3 grade-point average, Sarah is poised to fulfill a lifelong goal. She will enroll at UW-River Falls to prepare for a career as a veterinarian.
High School: Jefferson, 2018
College Attending: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Biology
Jessica has picked produce, pulled weeds, moved cattle, cut thistle and built fences. Quite the career so far for this self-described “farm kid,” and she has plenty more in store.
As the salutatorian of her graduating high school class with a 4.3 grade-point average and the school’s outgoing Student Council president, Jessica will pursue a college degree in sustainable systems management. She would like to help farmers adopt and implement sustainable technologies on their land.
The conservation of natural resources is a passion of Jessica, rooted in her many years of hands-on experience on her family’s grass-fed beef farm, Brattset Family Farm. She has been a longtime youth participant in the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference and the Wisconsin Farmers Union, the latter of which included election to the National Youth Advisory Council and an opportunity to meet legislators in Washington, D.C., and lobby for sustainable agricultural practices. A highlight of Jessica’s involvement with FFA was having the winning Wisconsin entry in the 2016 GROWMARK Essay Contest with a title of “Strength in Sustainability.”
High School: Hartford Union, 2018
College Attending: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Animal Science
Considered a “high achiever” by those who know her best, Olivia has excelled as a student, with a multitude of extracurricular activities and as a young businessperson.
She ranked in the top 10 of her graduating class with a 4.1 grade-point average. She played softball, ran cross-country, competed on the Math Team, served as a tutor, held leadership positions on the Student Council and was a student representative on the school board. Then there’s the 10-plus years as a member of her local 4-H club and her involvement with FFA as a high school student.
On top of all those achievements, Olivia has paired a childhood love of animals with an entrepreneurial spirit that has her ready to pursue a college degree in animal science. She started a business four years ago as a 14-year-old to raise, show and sell Angus cattle to local residents’ seeking high-quality meat. She recently expanded the operation to breed Wagyu cattle. Her career goal is to research livestock genetics and nutrition for the purpose of creating healthier and more productive animals that can alleviate hunger and lift people out of poverty.
High School: Southern Door, 2018
College Attending: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dairy Science
After 10 years as a farmhand on his family’s dairy farm, Austin has a good handle on what he would like to do for a career. His goal is to complete his college education and return to the farm he knows inside and out to manage the operations as a fifth-generation farmer.
Austin’s formative years on the farm has included feeding and milking cows, crop production and machinery maintenance. He’s also breeding his own herd of cows. His love for agriculture is further exemplified in his longtime involvement with leadership opportunities in his local 4-H and FFA organizations as well as the Door County Junior Holstein Association.
The farm duties, extracurricular commitments and his success in the classroom during high school didn’t keep Austin from pursuing another passion. He became a state-certified firefighter while serving the Brussels-Union-Gardner Volunteer Fire Department in Door County the last two years. He plans to continue to aid the fire department when his career in farming starts.