The Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation’s Scholarship Program continues to grow each year as the number of applicants increase. “Our members are realizing that an agricultural career provides broad and exciting possibilities” explains Jim Gutzmer, Foundation President.

And what is an agricultural career? It is a chosen pursuit or profession related to the broad area of producing, marketing, manufacturing, transporting, studying, teaching, and developing food, fiber, fuel and pharmacy products originating from the farm. Examples of agricultural careers include horticulturist, food scientist, animal nutritionist, genetic engineering, farmer, veterinarian, commodity broker, dietitian, turf producer, agricultural engineer and the list goes on and on. Perhaps you may wish to check out the broad and rewarding possibilities with one out of every four jobs in the United States related to agriculture.

The Foundation is proud to announce the 18th Annual Agricultural Scholarship Program. The Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation is offering college students the opportunity to start or continue his/her higher education with a scholarship.  Last year, the Foundation provided seven scholarships ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 a piece. The Board will name the top applicant as the Howard Paarlberg Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship recipient.  The Foundation will award a scholarship (s) to college students pursuing agriculturally related fields of study. The Conserv FS FFA Scholarship for $1,000 will also be offered to a High School Senior in an approved FFA Program.

The Foundation Board has set the following criteria for the scholarship program…

•        Applications are available at the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation office located at 6438 Joliet Road in Countryside, Illinois.  We will also send applications upon request by calling 708-354-3276 or they can be printed out on the Foundation page of

•       Applications must be completed and submitted to the CCFB Foundation by February 20th, 2016. Late applications will not be considered.

•       All applicants must be members or dependents of members in good standing with the Cook County Farm Bureau for at least one year. (Except for the Conserv FS FFA Award)

•       All applicants must be high school graduates accepted for enrollment by, or currently enrolled at, an accredited college, university, or community college.

•       All applicants must be pursuing a field of study in agriculture, agri-business, or an agriculturally related major with a focus on an ag-related career.

•       Scholarships will be awarded following application evaluation for exceptional academic ability, financial need, demonstrated interest in agriculture, evidence of self-help, and character.

There is no clear answer to the question we sometimes are asked, “Is … agricultural career? The Foundation board evaluates each application on its own merit and uses additional criteria of goals, past experience, and the agricultural connections to the career to determine eligibility,” indicated Bob Rohrer, Foundation Executive Director.

For more information or an application, please contact the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation at (708)354-3276 or print an application out from our website at