By KEVIN WALKER
LANSING, Mich. — Ed Breitmeyer was out walking for exercise last Thursday morning; although the retired teacher doesn’t have to get up and go into a classroom anymore, he still believes in the value of getting a good education.
As current chair of the Michigan Corn Growers Assoc. (MCGA) and a member of its Scholarship Committee, Breit-meyer said the MCGA is in the middle of taking applications for its seventh annual collegiate scholarship program. The group this year will award a minimum of two scholarships, of $1,000 each.
“It’s a really good program, and what’s really neat about it is it’s a way to give back to the growers,” he said. “We are trying to help ag, because we’re hoping that young people go back into agriculture.
“There’s a lot of agriculture things going on, too. They don’t have to be a grower. We do try to give back and we should be giving back. We need to keep kids involved, and this is a way of doing it.”
His father was a farmer and even while he was teaching, Breitmeyer – who lives in Buckley, about 30 miles south of Traverse City – wanted to keep one foot in the world of farming. At first, early on in his teaching career, he started a vegetable garden. At some point along the way, his vegetable garden grew into a 200-acre corn-growing operation, and that’s what he has now.
All members of the MCGA, whether students, growers or associates, as well as children of members, between ages 17-25, can apply. An applicant has to be enrolled as a full-time student at a post-secondary educational institution in the fall 2013 semester in order to be eligible.
Applications have to be into the MCGA office no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 11. An application may be obtained by calling the MCGA office at 888-323-6601 or by going online at www.micorn.org
The application must include a membership identification number. According to MCGA policy, membership equals one person – only one application per membership number will be accepted.
Full-time college students with an interest in agriculture are eligible for a one-year membership in the MCGA for $20. Grower and associate memberships in the MCGA are $60 for one year, $155 for three years or $500 for a lifetime membership.