Scholarship Procedures & Criteria
- Scholarships Awarded: Three scholarships will be funded on an annual basis from the Wisconsin Custom Operators (WCO) general fund. Scholarships will be awarded to applicants who are planning to enter post-secondary education (either as a freshman or continuing student), career training programs, or searching for early career opportunities in custom harvesting and/or application. This program is open to any post high school training program (including but not limited to college, technical school, grad school, vet/med school, CDL truck driver training courses, pesticide applicator training program/exam, or other industry relevant training programs). Those on a non-academic post-secondary education path searching for career opportunity in the industry (such as, but not limited to, joining a harvest crew or other apprenticeship program) are also encouraged to apply, and scholarship funds could be used to help offset cost of joining the industry (travel, housing, licensing, etc.).
- Scholarship Amount: The total amount of scholarships funded by the WCO general fund will be determined by the WCO board prior to posting the application in the spring. The total funds will be split equally between the three recipients. The scholarship amount will be $3,000 – i.e. three scholarships at $1000 each. A $1500 Robert Hoerth Memorial Award will be considered for one deserving applicant.
- Selection Criteria: Selection will be based on leadership and civic activities, high school or post-secondary scholastic achievement, work and volunteer activities specifically related to production agriculture, and an essay that provides a vision for the applicant’s educational, vocational, or early career future. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received a WCO scholarship.
- All applicants must have direct family ties to a current member of WCO (excluding corporate members) or to an employee of a WCO member. Applicants may also be a WCO member or employee of a WCO member themselves.
- A WCO member (excluding corporate members) may sponsor one scholarship applicant per year who does not meet the above criteria. To be considered for a scholarship, the application must include a direct correspondence to the scholarship committee from the WCO sponsoring member indicating they are sponsoring the candidate.
- An application from a family member of an employee must supply a letter or e-mail from the WCO member to confirm employment with the WCO member.
- Applications would also be considered if the applicant was directly related (son or daughter) to a deceased WCO member.
- Applicants who are planning to further their education at either a university, technical school or other training program are eligible. Those seeking funds for early career advancement opportunities in the custom farming industry are also eligible to apply.
- Application Process: Applicants must complete the Scholarship Application form that is found on the WCO website (wiscustomoperators.org). Applications may be mailed as a hardcopy to PO Box 567, DeForest, WI 53532 or emailed to email@example.com.
- Timing: Applications must be submitted to WCO by May 1st. The WCO Scholarship and Awards Committee will be comprised of at least three members. The committee as a whole will review applicants in June and contact the scholarship recipients in July.
- Award Presentation: The award will be given to the recipients at the annual WCO meeting in January or February.
- Fund Disbursement: For awards towards post-secondary education (university, technical college, etc.), funds will be distributed at the end of the fall semester. Educational scholarship recipients must provide a transcript to the Chair of the Scholarship and Awards Committee showing that they have attained a 2.5 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) during that semester.
For recipients pursing training programs (CDL, applicator training program, etc.) funds will be distributed after proof of course completion has been submitted to WCO. Non-academic recipients must show proof of career advancement opportunity and show progress towards early career advancement (i.e. letter from employer) before funds will be distributed. WCO will mail a check to the award recipients once above criteria is met.
Mail or email application to:
Wisconsin Custom Operators
PO Box 567
Deforest, WI 53532