A gift of over $43,000 has allowed The Goshen County Beet Growers Association to boost the Association’s Eastern Wyoming College scholarship endowment to over $110,000. The gift of $43,000 will be matched dollar for dollar by the State of Wyoming Endowment Challenge matching program, and will be added to the amount already in place from a gift made by the Association in 2005.
Students will benefit for years to come from the generosity of the Goshen County Beet Growers Association. Three endowed scholarships will be available in 2015 for students from Goshen, Platte and Laramie counties in Wyoming, from Banner, Kimball, Morrill, Scottsbluff and Sioux counties in Nebraska, and any county currently raising sugar beets to be processed by the Torrington factory. Additionally, students must be pursuing academic programs in agriculturally related areas. Scholarship support will be available not only for students coming to Eastern Wyoming College, but for those who plan to transfer to a four year institution, again based on academic achievement in programs related to agriculture. The EWC office of financial aid has full details on the current and new Beet Growers scholarship criteria and application process.
The Goshen County Beet Growers Association was formed in 1926, and was merged with the Platte Valley WyoBraska Beet Growers Association in 1995. The initial intent of the Association was to provide scholarship assistance for students coming to Eastern Wyoming College as well as to provide an award for community projects. Members of the Goshen County Beet Growers Association who have provided the impetus for this scholarship and its growth include Dennis Eisenbarth, Gary Maul, Galen Herdt and Steve Feagler – all of whom have had years of experience in the sugar beet industry and a desire to ensure the scholarship’s ability to serve students on a permanent basis.
Feagler noted that “over the years, the Goshen County Beet Growers Association played an important role in the evolution of the sugar beet industry. We are proud to continue that legacy through this contribution.”
EWC director of financial aid Susan Stephenson added, “With college costs continuing to rise, donors such as the Goshen County Beet Growers are an increasingly crucial factor in students’ ability to attend and complete college.”
Contracted acres for sugar beets in Goshen County were expanded from 17,000 acres prior the early 1990’s to 35,000 acres after that time, all of which were to be processed by Holly Sugar’s Torrington factory. The growers’ contract with Holly Sugar ended in 2002 with the sale of the factory, however the Association has continued its support of students in agricultural programs since that time.
Endowment funds are established for various purposes. The EWC Foundation requires a minimum of $5,000 to establish a permanent endowment. Proceeds from investment of endowed funds are used to support programs and activities such as the Goshen County Beet Growers scholarship.