Central Valley Ag Awards 20 Students With $1,000 Scholarship

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(York, NE) – Central Valley Ag (CVA) is pleased to announce 20 students as recipients of the 2019-2020 CVA Scholarship Program. Each student will receive $1,000 to further their education in an agriculturally related field.

Receiving a CVA Member-Owner scholarship are:

  • Carson Rathje of Rising City, Neb.
  • Elizabeth Karnopp of Oakland, Neb.
  • Payton Schiller of Scribner, Neb.
  • Clare Kohl of Surprise, Neb.
  • Mikayla Martensen of Humphrey, Neb.
  • Rachelle Anderson of Jamestown, Kan.
  • Grace Otott of Washington, Kan.
  • Caleigh Hewitt of Beloit, Kan.
  • Anna Ready of Scribner, Neb.
  • Tobi Wilber of Belleville, Kan.
  • John Wetovick of Fullerton, Neb.
  • Matthew Mittman of York, Neb.
  • Evan Tessendorf of Columbus, Neb.
  • Emily Koenigsman of Tipton, Kan.
  • Trevor Haley of Delphos, Kan.
  • Jacob Czarnick of Genoa, Neb.

Receiving a CVA Employee Student scholarship are:

  • Jadyn Fleischman of Herman, Neb.
  • Joshua Hollerich of Beloit, Kan.
  • Courtney Walker of Delphos, Kan.
  • Noah Scott of Randolph, Neb.

The scholarship program is designed to promote academic excellence and focus on students who have been involved in agriculturally related activities throughout their youth and wish to pursue a career in the ag industry.

Applicants wrote an essay titled “The Value of Cooperatives in Modern Agriculture,” elaborating on the role of the cooperative business model in today’s agriculture industry, why it’s important and how it can continue to benefit farmer member-owners. Students of CVA member-owners and CVA employees pursuing postsecondary education in an agriculturally related field were eligible to apply.

“The scholarship recipients exemplify the heart and work ethic of the producers we are proud to work with every day,” said Tim Esser, CVA Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “CVA’s annual scholarship program is one of the many ways the cooperative supports future leaders, innovators, and spokespeople of agriculture.”

The 2020-2021 CVA Scholarship program will launch Fall 2020.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.