Grateful for Scholarships

Posted: February 21, 2022

Three local women who work at Maplehurst Farms, Inc. received DeKalb County Farm Bureau Scholarships. They share their stories and gratitude for having been awarded these scholarships in the past.

Kristin Hoffman

I grew up in Kingston on a grain and livestock farm. I attended Hiawatha in Kirkland from elementary through high school then attended Iowa State University where I graduated in May of 2021 with my Bachelor’s in Agricultural Business with a business emphasis in Finance.

In 2019 & 2020, I was graciously awarded the Ag Discipline Scholarship from the Farm Bureau. Not only did the scholarships help me with my financial obligations, but it also allowed me to concentrate more on my classwork and extra-curricular activities while in college. Due to the extra time not focusing on financials, I was able to graduate cum laude and hold several leadership roles in various organizations on and off campus!

Due to COVID-19, my classes transitioned online during my Senior Fall Semester (Fall of 2020). While it was unfortunate to lose the in-person connections, it allowed me to fast track my career at Maplehurst Farms by starting as a Grain Bookkeeper at the Esmond Facility during harvest. Before I left to finish my last semester in Ames, I was offered a full-time position as a Grain Origination Assistant. I gladly accepted the position and loved every minute.

Within eight months, an opportunity arose, and I am proud to say I am now a Grain Marketing Specialist.

Barbara Koehnke

I am the Controller for Maplehurst Farms, and a long-time DeKalb County Farm Bureau member. I grew up on a farm in Clare and have been a part of the agricultural industry my entire life. My husband, Brian and I have two daughters, Betsy & Brooke.

I graduated from Hiawatha High School, Kirkland, in 1988 and am proud to be a former recipient of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau High School Senior Scholarship. This two-year scholarship helped pay for books and tuition while I attended school at Kishwaukee Community College. I graduated with an Associate of Science degree with an accounting emphasis and transferred to NIU where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

As a CPA, I worked at a public accounting firm for a few years before returning to our family’s business, Pearcy Grain Services. Since 2002, I have been a part of the Maplehurst Farms family where my accounting degree and CPA have served me well at the Rochelle office.

Thank you to DeKalb County Farm Bureau for your assistance in helping me to build a solid base to my career in agriculture!

Bronwyn Burgweger

I grew up on a grain farm in Kirkland. After graduating from Hiawatha High School, I attended Joliet Junior College receiving my Associates in Science and Art. From there I transferred to Illinois State University and later transferred to Colorado State University where I received my Bachelor‘s in Agriculture Business.

I received the Senior Scholarship from the Farm Bureau upon my graduation from high school in 2010. I am thankful and honored to have been awarded this scholarship. By being awarded the Senior Scholarship, it assisted in pursuing my degree in an industry I am passionate about, agriculture.

After graduating from Colorado State University in 2014, I began my career at Maplehurst in the grain department. Currently, I am working as the Maplehurst Credit Analyst at the new Rochelle Corporate Office. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and being a part of the community.

I strongly encourage high school seniors and current college students to apply for the many scholarships the DeKalb County Farm Bureau has to offer. It is important to support the future of agriculture, and this is one way the Farm Bureau is doing it.

Kristen Hoffman, Barbara Koehnke and Bronwyn Burgweger have all been awarded DeKalb County Farm Bureau Scholarships in the past. They are employed at Maplehurst Farms – Kristen, Grain Marketing Specialist; Barbara, Controller; and Bronwyn, Credit Analyst.