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CCFB News» February 2024

2024 Foundation Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

02/02/2024 @ 2:00 pm

Careers in Agriculture include more than farming! According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, a total of 19.7 million jobs, or 10.3% of U.S. employment, were related to agriculture in 2020. Farming only made up 13.5% of agricultural employment, food service made up 53.4%, and food and beverage stores made up 16.5%. There are more than one million agriculture-related jobs in Illinois alone.


The Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation has several opportunities for those who are pursuing careers in the following fields: plant science, animal science, agricultural business, agricultural mechanics, food science, diesel mechanics, ag-related education, technology, mental health, and more!


2024 GENERAL COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM – Deadline to apply: February 16, 2024


The CCFB Foundation scholarship application window is now open for the 26th Annual “Farm and Food” Agricultural Scholarship and the Stuenkel Family Scholarship Program. The Foundation offers these scholarships to college students who are pursuing an ag-related career with the opportunity to start or continue their higher education. The application is available on the CCFB Foundation website:


HOWARD PAARLBERG EXCELLENCE IN AG SCHOLARSHIP ($3500) AND GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP ($2000) – Scholarships for individuals and Cook County Farm Bureau members that are focused on agriculturally related careers for those interested in farming, greenhouse, agronomy, horticulture, aquaculture, agribusiness/management, rural healthcare, veterinarian medicine, nutrition/food science, agriculture education., forestry or a number of other agriculturally related pursuits.

The Board will name the top applicant as the Howard Paarlberg Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship recipient. In addition, up to 6 general scholarships may be granted.


STUENKEL FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP ($3000) – This scholarship has been designed for indivuals and CCFB members who are pursuing higher education with a focus on an agriculturally related career in the areas of technology, education, leadership development and/or mental health.

In addition to the “Farm and Food” Agriculture Scholarship and the Stuenkel Family Scholarship, there are other scholarship opportunities available throughout the year which include:


“MOVING AG FORWARD” VOCATIONAL AG CAREER TRAINING (AVAILABLE IN THREE CYCLES IN 2023/2024) – These scholarships have been designed for individuals and Cook County Farm Bureau members pursuing training in agriculturally related skills including tractor/truck diesel mechanics, CDL for crop, food and livestock hauling, welding, agricultural technology, etc.


ADULT SCHOLARSHIPS (AVAILABILITY BASED ON TRAINING SESSIONS AND ACCEPTANCE) – Scholarships for Cook County Farm Bureau members include tuition assistance for

  • Master Urban Farmer training and certification
  • Master Gardener training and certification
  • Illinois Ag Leadership Program (IALP) training program
  • Ag Leaders of Tomorrow (ALOT) training program


MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT – Mental Health Professionals or Cook County Farm Bureau members seeking to assist the farmers and rural community who attend and participate in mental health/suicide prevention training seminars, conferences, or educational sessions may be eligible for support and reimbursement. Contact the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation at 708-354-3276 or email [email protected].


Visit for more information on these scholarships and to apply.

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