2019 Scholarship Recipient
JORDAN BUERCK of Winona
is the 2019 recipient of the Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship.
He is starting his Junior Year at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls this fall majoring in Agricultural Studies, with a minor in Animal Sciences.
While he did not grow up on a farm he approached an organic farmer while a junior in high school asking if he could work on their farm. The farm is a grass-based beef and sheep farm committed to improve soil health and the long-term sustainability of their farm environment. The entire farm is under a rotational, perennial pasture setup and has been for the past 30+ years. Jordan works part time during the school year and full time during the school holidays and most weekends.
He has learned not only from the farm’s owners but is attending seminars and talks. This includes attending the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) soil health workshops, and attending lectures by leading national experts in the field, such as Joshua Duakart, Dave Pratt and David Montgomery. (Joshua Duakart is operating a ranch in North Dakota practicing holistic management since 2008 working toward their financial, environmental and social goals. He is a speaker and consultant. Dave Pratt is a sought after speaker on sustainable agriculture and a ranch management consultant. David Montgomery is a University of Washington professor and author with books on ecology, geophysical sciences, soils, and the Microbial Roots of Life and Health. He is a popular speaker on the topics of soils and soil health). As his Farmer reference wrote, “Jordan is keen to apply what he is learning at their farm.”
His coursework shows expanded exposure to a variety of agricultural topics such as soil, plant, food, and environmental sciences, and planning for a sustainable society.
Sensitivity to social issues comes from his volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to a solid academic performance (3.767 cumulative GPA), his leadership skills are being honed through presidential positions in the National Honor Society and Student Council while in High School, and the Beef Management Team at River Falls. He was also recently elected to the presidential office of the national organization Agriculture & Applied Economics Association’s Student Section. His Beef Management Team faculty advisor, a Professor and Chair of the Agricultural Economics Department, writes how he has helped grow the student membership in the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association while being involved in additional agricultural clubs, including participating in the Agricultural Economic Quiz Bowl team.
In response to our question of what receiving the Scholarship means to him he answered:
“It is my honor to be selected as the 2019 Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship recipient. It encourages me that donors see the passion for the sustainable agricultural industry that I have. With this scholarship, I will be able to continue my education at UW-River Falls, and apply what I learn in the future. I believe there is a giant realm of sustainable agriculture that is yet to be tapped, and I look forward to providing a healthy, safe sustainable food product for the next generation.”
The review panel of six, managed by the Rochester Area Foundation, unanimously agreed that Jordan has the qualities we are looking for in the Scholarship recipients:
1. Have a demonstrated strong interest in and commitment to completely sustainable (as pertains to economic, social and environmental issues—combined) agricultural and/or forestry practices.
2. Be committed to protecting and preserving our natural resources and related economic and social condition.
3. Have strong communication skills.
4. Possess leadership characteristics.
5. Priority will be given to students active in agriculture/forestry also outside of school.
Jordan received $5,000.00 for the upcoming school year—thanks to our donors