November 27, 2022

Illinois Agri-Women select 2022 scholarship winners

O’FALLON, Ill. — Four students have been chosen for scholarships by Illinois Agri-Women.

Alexis Claire Carroll of Carrollton is the 2022 recipient of the Illinois Agri-Women Helen Henert Agriculture Education Scholarship. This $1,500 scholarship is awarded annually to an agriculture education major who will be finishing her degree within the next year.

Carroll will be a senior this fall studying agriculture education at Southern Illinois University. She attended Carrollton High School.

“The people who work in agriculture provide the entire world with food, clothes and fuel. My goal is to educate people on the importance of agriculture and help close the wide gap between farmers and consumers,” Carroll said.

The Women Changing the Face of Agriculture career exploration event, a project of Illinois Agri-Women, takes place each spring to give young women the opportunity to explore different career paths, interact with industry professionals and receive accurate information first-hand from women in agriculture.

This year, three WCFA Agent of Change $1,000 scholarships were awarded to students who aspire to positively impact the agricultural industry through their careers.

The 2022 recipients are as follows:

Elaan Bader, daughter of Denise and late Joseph Bader of Litchfield, will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Bader attended Litchfield High School and plans to study agriculture engineering and public policy law at Washington University in St. Louis.

“I realized I could become an agriculture lobbyist, but the more I have participated in the many activities that FFA and 4-H have to offer, the more I realized my pathway to the future. My career as an agriculture lawyer and public servant can impact many people positively with beneficial ag policies and laws to improve our world,” Bader said.

Abigail Hoeft of Normal will also receive a $1,000 scholarship. She is the daughter of Scott and Shawn Hoeft.

She graduated from Normal Community West High School and is currently studying forestry at Southern Illinois University.

“I’ve attended many conferences and conventions, but none where I left feeling more inspired than at the WCFA conference. Had I not attended the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture conference, I might have never discovered a career path I was truly passionate about and enjoyed,” Hoeft noted.

Katie Zelechowski of Bloomington will receive a $1,000 scholarship. She is the daughter of Karen Zelechowski. She is a graduate of Edwardsville High School and plans to study science in communication at Purdue University.

Her educational journey started at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying agricultural communications with a minor in food and environmental systems.

“Participating in several Women Changing the Face of Agriculture conferences helped me see past my insecurities, allowing me to discover a variety of careers. As I met with other like-minded women to hear about the challenges and accomplishments that come with working in a science-based field, I gained the confidence to follow my passion to become a storyteller for the food and farm sectors,” Zelchowski said.

For more information about Illinois Agri-Women scholarships and opportunities, visit illinoisagriwomen.org.

To learn more about the 2022 Women Changing the Face of Agriculture career exploration event, visit womenchangingthefaceofagriculture.com.