2021 Scholarship Recipients

Each year, First District Association offers scholarships to its member-owners who are interested in pursuing a future in agriculture or food science. Below are the recipients of our 2021 scholarships: 


Caden Carlson
Pennock, MN

Caden currently attends the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for Agronomy. Caden plans to return to the family farm to continue his family’s tradition with his father, uncle, cousins and siblings. Throughout his youth, Caden has been active in 4-H with showing dairy cattle, along with helping with the local Dairy Days by leading tours and talking with the community about his family’s farm.  

“By using my knowledge, I will be able to make smart, economical, and precise decisions.” 



Jay Dicke
Goodhue, MN 

Currently attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Jay hopes to use his Agriculture Food Business Management degree to enhance his knowledge in both agriculture business and animal science. Jay credits a lot of his success to the 4-H, FFA and Farm Bureau programs. He is actively involved in Gopher Dairy Club, University of Minnesota Dairy Judging Team, the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Ambassador program and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.  

“There is a boundary between knowing and not knowing about the farm and that line is widening as generations progress. Educating consumers has become more necessary than ever before.” 



Taylor Fester
Grove City, MN

With the goal to return to his family’s farm, Taylor is pursuing a two-year degree at South Dakota State University in Agricultural Sciences to gain skills and knowledge that will help him in the future. 4-H, FFA, football, wrestling, Minnesota Junior Holstein Association and National Honors Society have kept Taylor busy and involved. Growing up in an agriculture driven area has taught him that it is important to work for your goals. 

“Agriculture has always been a passion of mine and know that this is what I want to do in the future, because I truly was born to farm.” 



Wilson Gratz
Atwater, MN 

Wilson currently attends Lakes Area Technical College in South Dakota for Agriculture Production, with plans to return to his family’s fifth generation farm. FFA has played a huge role in Wilson’s life and future plans. Wilson and fellow FFA members connected with a 4th grade class in Minneapolis the last couple of years and shared with them how farmers take care of their animals. He has also been actively involved in 4-H, football, National Honors Society and Kandiyohi Farm Bureau. 

“I really enjoy working with people that share my love for agriculture.” 



Devin Ritter
Avon, MN 

From an early age, Devin has always been interested in agriculture. He credits this to growing up on his family’s dairy farm. He wants to stay involved in the agriculture industry by learning more about agriculture technology and current agricultural practices. Devin has stayed active in his community by volunteering through his church and was in football. 

“Agriculture is the world’s most important industry that keeps our ecosystem running.” 



Clara Thompson
Plainview, MN 

Clara is a freshman at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities studying Animal Science, where she hopes to become a large animal veterinarian. She wants to utilize her skills in the future to one day have her own farm. Clara is active in her 4-H club, dairy judging, dairy project bowl, FFA, Rochester Area Holstein Club, Minnesota Junior Holstein Association, National Holstein Association and Olmsted County Dairy Ambassador program. 

“I believe the knowledge I will attain, along with my agriculture background, can help me properly advocate for the dairy and livestock industries.” 



Mikayla Thorson
Waverly, MN 

With a goal of owning and operating a farm of her own in the future, Mikayla is obtaining a degree in Animal Science at South Dakota State University. Mikayla credits classes taken in high school, FFA and 4-H to want to stay involved in the agriculture industry. She is also an active member of her church including youth group, bible study, local missions and volunteering as a children’s leader during the summer. 

“The animals and farm have given me a passion to continue participating and promoting the agricultural industry well into the future.” 



Zachary Watrin
Sandstone, MN 

Attending South Dakota State University, Zachary wants to use his knowledge and experiences to one day run a farm of his own. He is currently going for an Agriculture Business degree in Brookings. Not only does Zachary help on his own family’s farm, but he also helps other farmers in the area with miscellaneous tasks. He has been active in football, attended Youth Leadership Academy and is an active member of his church. 

“It is hard and honest work but it is worthwhile because I have been able to watch my family’s own dairy farm grow and prosper over the years, showing that all of our hard work has paid off.” 



Angie Weller
New York Mills, MN 

Angie has always been interested in helping and making sure her animals were healthy. This led to her attending Ridgewater College to become a Veterinarian Technician. FFA has also been instrumental in her career path as being an officer and competing in contests have given her the tools to pursue her future.  

“I will use the education I have learned the help my parents out at home on our small dairy farm when I am on the job.” 



Allison Wright
Hutchinson, MN 

Along with working on her family’s farm, being in 4-H, FFA and a McLeod County Dairy Royalty have helped Allison gain skills to want to become an agriculture teacher. Allison is attending South Dakota State University studying Agricultural Education and Agricultural Communication. She hopes to share her love of agriculture, and experiences on her farm with future students to show them where their food comes from. 

“I am the most comfortable and knowledgeable when talking about my experiences on my farm and agriculture in general.” 



Congratulations to this year’s recipients!