CVA Awards 20 Students With $1,000 Scholarship


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(York, NE) – Central Valley Ag (CVA) is pleased to announce winners of the 2021 CVA Scholarships. Twenty students pursuing a career in an agriculturally related field won awards of $1,000 each.

Receiving a CVA scholarship this year are:

  • Abigail Lutjelusche of Richland, NE
  • Alex Benson of Clay Center, KS
  • Allyson Selting of Elgin, NE
  • Brea Heeren of Fullerton, NE
  • Caleb Eilert of Jewell, KS
  • Chas Carlgren of Scandia, KS
  • Cooper Koch of York, NE
  • Derek Petersen of Lyons, NE
  • Elise Knapp of Westfield, IA
  • Ellen Wanek of Aurora, NE
  • Ethan Alquist of Clay Center, KS
  • Evie Schlickbernd of West Point, KS
  • Ira Chase Cotton of York, NE
  • Jessica Stevens of Creighton, NE
  • Kirsten Krebs of Neligh, NE
  • Liberty Dexter of Pilger, NE
  • Olivia Klug of Columbus, NE
  • Quin Girard of Clyde, KS
  • Suzanne Piitz of Brainard, NE

The scholarship program is designed to promote academic excellence while providing an opportunity for students to learn more about the agricultural industry and the cooperative system through the process.

Students completed an application and essay focused on the topic, “How can cooperatives demonstrate their value to the next generation of agriculturists?” Scholarship eligibility was limited to students of CVA member-owners and CVA employees who are pursuing a career in agriculture.

“All of our recipients demonstrate great potential in leading the next generation and shaping its views of the importance of the agricultural industry,” 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 2021-2022 CVA Scholarship program will launch Fall 2021.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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.

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