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UWRF Students Win Two of Three WAPAC Scholarships

By Kendra Knutson

JAN. 19. 2007--For two University of Wisconsin-River Falls students, their summer internships served as the driving force behind being selected as recipients of the Wisconsin Association of Professional Agricultural Consultants (WAPAC) scholarship.

            Crop and soil science majors Amy Sonnetag, a junior from Cadott, Wis., along with Hannah Butenhoff, a senior from Shell Lake, Wis., received two of the three available scholarships that are awarded annually to eligible students in the UW System.  

            In order to qualify for the scholarships, students must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate and have career goals in production agriculture, with preference given to majors in crop and/or livestock disciplines. In addition, recipients must have completed an internship related to production agriculture during the previous summer and obtain a written letter of recommendation from their internship employer. The scholarship is based on merit and can be awarded to an individual only once.

            Two weeks ago, Sonnentag received a telephone call informing her that she had been selected to receive a $500 scholarship from the WAPAC. Sonnentag completed her internship this past summer at Steuart & Armstrong Consulting, Owatonna, Minn., where she filled the role of crop scout. She inspected fields assessing plant health while checking for diseases, and insects.

            Sonnentag chose the crops and soils major because of her passion for agronomy.

She was raised on a cash crop farm that also included a small business.

            "We would buy soybeans from farmers, roast them, and sell them to dairy farmers for use as feed for their cattle," said Sonnentag of the family business.  

            Down the road, Sonnentag sees herself in the agronomy field. She enjoys crop consulting, being out in the farm fields, and having one-on-one interactions with customers.

            Butenhoff, who will also receive a $500 scholarship, completed her summer internship at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Eau Claire, Wis. Having applied last year with unsuccessful results, she decided to try again. Finding that persistence pays off, Butenhoff said she was pleasantly surprised to hear that after another year of hard work she had been selected to receive the scholarship.

            "I feel very fortunate to have had financial help throughout my college career, and most of it has been from work-study and scholarships," said Butenhoff. "It's nice to have organizations recognize your goals and be willing to help you achieve them.

            In the future, Butenhoff would like to work in the agronomy field in western Wisconsin. She would like to become a confident, knowledgeable and highly regarded female agronomist in the industry.

            "I want to help growers and producers with their questions and concerns regarding their crops, for me this would be a very satisfying career," said Butenhoff.  

            WAPAC is an association of agricultural consultants that includes animal nutritionists, veterinarians, farm managers, educators, crop consultants, and a wide array of farm service industry advisors.    


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:55 Central Daylight Time


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