Students at Bremen High School Create Scholarship

The Bremen FFA Chapter at Bremen High School is beginning 2017 with exciting news – the creation of a new scholarship fund at the Marshall County Community Foundation for Bremen students passionate about agriculture.

Proceeds from the Bremen school farm were used to make an initial contribution to the new scholarship fund. The 28 acre school farm is something of a rarity in the high school agricultural educational space and functions as an outdoor lab for students. The farm showcases real world agricultural business scenarios for students and provides invaluable experience. With a good harvest from the school farm in 2015 and 2016, teachers and Bremen FFA Chapter advisors Chad Berger and Shannon Verhaeghe realized the potential.

Berger is a 23-year veteran teacher and was named Indiana Agriculture Teacher of the Year in 2005. His expertise and passion for teaching shines through when he talks about the potential the new scholarship fund holds for his students. “The FFA kids decided to invest and begin this scholarship fund after our farm yields were high and the prices were good this year,” Berger said. “Together, we see this as a forever investment in our club.”

Previously, Bremen FFA scholarships were tied to yearly fundraising. If the fundraising atmosphere was less than optimal, scholarships were lean that year. With the creation of the new Foundation scholarship fund, the FFA will have a steady source of income to empower the club to give the same scholarship amounts year after year – and to increase those scholarship amounts as the fund grows over time.

“I did not realize how simple the process would be to begin a fund at the Marshall County Community Foundation,” Berger noted. “If I had known, I would have done this years ago.”  The Bremen FFA Chapter created the new scholarship fund with an initial investment of $10,000. Berger and Verhaeghe’s students have resolved to continue investing into the FFA scholarship fund into the future, dependent on how the school farm performs from year-to-year.

“Now that we have this fund started, we will add to it. It all depends on the weather, but we are in this for the long haul. Farmers are patient.”