The Iowa Poultry & Egg Scholarship Foundation is excited to announce three scholarship winners for 2022.

Created by the Iowa Egg Council and Iowa Poultry Association, the Foundation funds scholarships and encourages young people to consider careers in the poultry and egg industry. The recipients will be recognized at the Iowa Poultry Association Fall Festival and Annual Meeting on September 21, 2022.

The first returning college student scholarship in the amount of $1,500 is awarded to Abigail Kaska. This newly created scholarship is named in honor of late Iowa Egg Council board member and egg industry leader, Blair Van Zetten. Kaska attends Iowa State  University majoring in animal science. She began raising poultry six years ago and now manages her own small-scale poultry business. She raises layers, broilers, and exhibition birds along with ducks. Kaska also manages her own marketing and advertising projects. This spring, she was elected president of the Iowa State University Poultry Interest Group.

She plans to become a veterinarian and said, “If you asked me a year ago what I wanted to do with my life, I would have told you that I wanted to be a veterinarian. Now when people ask me what my life goals are, my answer is: “I definitely want to be a veterinarian.” 

The second returning college student scholarship in the amount of $1,500 is awarded to Brett Schoenherr. Schoenherr attends the University of Wisconsin – Platteville majoring in animal science with a minor in livestock production. He is a graduate of Midland High School where he was active in FFA, student council and National Honor Society. 

While in college, Schoenherr has taken part in the National FFA Convention, an academic quadrathlon, and worked for the Blackstone Cattle Company. 

Schoenherr shared, “I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge with younger people who are just starting to raise chickens and other poultry. I have also been continuing my education in the poultry industry by using my area of study as research for my classes.”

The graduating high school senior scholarship is awarded to Carissa Gerwig. Gerwig plans to attend Iowa State University to study animal science with a pre-vet option. While in high school, Gerwig participated in 4-H where she took various leadership positions. She started raising and showing chickens in 2017. During the middle of COVID-19, Gerwig began volunteering at Winterset’s PAW pantry. She started donating eggs in August of 2020 and has since donated 161 dozen (1,932 eggs) to the program.

When asked about her future Gerwig responded, “This career choice has interested me for quite some time now since I have always been intrigued with diseases and how they affect animals.”

Iowa Poultry Association Executive Director, Kevin Stiles, said, “We had a strong group of applicants for our annual scholarship award and are pleased to see more and more students interested in poultry and egg related careers. We are delighted to announce these three outstanding winners and look forward to watching their successes.”