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scholarship recipient

Written by Joann Pipkin.

Giving back to its members and supporting communities is what FCS Financial’s scholarship program is all about. Committed to supporting agricultural youth of Missouri, FCS Financial’s board of directors implemented the program to encourage and support higher education.  

Now in its 20th year, FCS Financial’s scholarship program has awarded nearly $775,000 to children and grandchildren of FCS Financial member-owners since the board approved the program in 2003. 

Applications are available on the FCS Financial website at and are due in our office March 1, 2023.

Here’s an inside look at what some of the 2017 recipients are doing now. 

Kaitlin Arnold – Orrick

A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in December 2020, Kaitlin received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in agricultural science. 

Kaitlin Arnold

While at NWMSU, Kaitlin was a member of the agricultural sorority Sigma Alpha-Alpha Beta and served as the chapter’s second vice president. She also participated in and helped organize a variety of agricultural and philanthropic events and traveled to professional conferences. She was the public relations chair for the NWMSU cattlemen’s association, representing the university at the state capital. Kaitlin received her American FFA Degree in 2018.

As an intern with Cactus Feeders, Kaitlin traveled to Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia to work on sow farms and conducted nutrition research. She also interned through Bayer Crop Science, organizing and creating documentation processes for seed returns, completed a sustainability handbook and received a supply chain certificate from Washington University.

“During my internships, I gained numerous professional and business skills,” Kaitlin says. “I was able to network and meet with a variety of people in the agricultural industry. I gained interview skills and knowledge that helped in my career search after graduation.”

Currently a customer order fulfillment specialist for Dairy Farmers of America, Kaitlin is based out the cooperative’s headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas, and resides in Gardner, Kansas.

Abby (Bertz) Korff – Mayview

Abby received a B.S. in agribusiness management in December 2022 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

Abby and Logan Korff

While at MU, Abby served as Missouri FFA President where she represented the state’s 26,000 members, facilitated leadership, teamwork and communication-driven workshops and speeches and engaged with industry stakeholders. She was also the executive council chairwoman for the American Enterprise Institute. In that capacity, Abby planned and executed policy-driven discussion-based seminars and industry panels made up of scholars, researchers and professionals for students. 

As president of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Abby led the 250-women member and executive board toward personal and professional success while managing the group’s annual operating budget. She was also an ambassador for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) where she interacted with prospective students, alumni and employers for recruitment, advancement and career services. In addition, Abby was one of 21 students chosen as a Litton Leadership Scholar. 

Abby Korff during internship

In 2018, Abby was named an Emerging Leader at MU, receiving a Chancellor’s Excellence Award. She also was named CAFNR Outstanding Freshman and was one of 14 Distinguished Freshmen of Mizzou by Omicron Delta Kappa.

Abby’s internship experience at MU included three different experiences with Bayer Crop Science: one as U.S. Sales and Marketing Communications Intern; Intern Testimonial Lead; and U.S. Crop Protection Sales Intern. She also served as an intern with the MU Office of the President.

“In any internship, I felt it was my responsibility to be a return on investment,” Abby explains. “This required recognizing gaps, what it would take to fill them, and identifying how I could be a part of the answer. Simply put, I learned how to figure it out. There, I didn’t have a textbook, lab or office hours. I had want-to and willpower, and I learned how to put both to good use.”

Currently, Abby works as the territory manager for Pioneer Seeds in western/northwestern Missouri. In that role, she serves as a business consultant and strategic partner to a team of nine Pioneer sales representatives, supporting their businesses and customers. 

Along with her husband, Logan Korff, Abby resides in Norborne where he farms with his family. 

Alli (Bertz) Chesky – Mayview

A December 2020 graduate of Kansas State University, Alli graduated with a B.S. in agriculture, having majored in agricultural communications and journalism as well as global food systems leadership. She minored in mass communications. 

Allie Chesky on a forklift

At K-State, Alli was a College of Agriculture Student of the Month, a Summa Cum Laude graduate, and the College of Agriculture commencement speaker. She also received a certificate in Professional Strategic Selling from the National Strategic Selling Institute.

Alli’s learning experience included being a Cargill Fellow, a selective leadership program sponsored by Cargill and the Staley School of Leadership Studies supporting leadership and skill development to cultivate business acumen and professional competencies. She also took part in a 10-day study abroad opportunity with the K-State College of Agriculture where she experienced agriculture in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The journey brought with it new knowledge on floriculture and vegetable production as well as dairies, Dutch markets and government agencies. 

“I would argue to say these experiences were just as essential to my education, development and overall preparation for the workforce as the coursework necessary for my degree,” Alli says. “I learned my baseline — my capacity to learn quickly, my ability to listen and contribute, and my deficits, too. These experiences were where the rubber hit the road — to test, challenge, build confidence and contribute.”

Allie Chesky overseas

In addition to traveling abroad, Alli was took part in internships with Missouri Corn Growers, Signal Theory, Cargill Animal Nutrition and K-State’s College of Agriculture. 

Currently, Alli works as the strategic marketing manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition’s Beef Team. Based in Olathe, Kansas, Alli is responsible for aligning the company’s beef nutrition portfolio to serve the needs of its beef customers and dealers. She and husband, Connor Chesky, reside in Gardner, Kansas. 

Emily (Chisum) Winfrey – Hartville

Emily graduated in May 2021 from Missouri State University with a B.S. in cell and molecular biology. 

Emily Winfrey

While at MSU, the Hartville native also minored in chemistry and psychology, earning a 4.0 grade point average and graduating with honors. Published in the undergraduate research journal called LOGOS, Emily was a member and executive officer of Pre-Medical Society and part of MSU’s Student Success Committee that allowed her to collaborate with faculty members and advocate on behalf of the MSU student body. 

As an undergraduate, Emily received pre-admission into University of Missouri’s School of Medicine as a Lester Bryant Scholar. The program allows students from rural communities interested in medicine to apply for the program, and upon acceptance, receive early conditional acceptance into medical school.

A volunteer experience while at MSU took Emily to Western North Carolina where she worked with different organizations to promote healthcare in the community. 

“We distributed fresh produce at a senior citizen center and educated elementary students about healthy diets,” Emily explains. “We also served meals and provided care to the homeless within the community.”

In addition, while at MSU, Emily volunteered at the Missouri State Care Clinic where she interacted with patients by taking vitals, escorting them to their rooms and distributing medications through the pharmacy. She also assisted healthcare workers in daily operations to serve some of the uninsured and underserved residents of southwest Missouri. 

"Both of these experiences confirmed my love and compassion for small, rural and underserved communities,” Emily explains. “Due to my rural upbringing, when I participated in these activities, it made me realize how much it means for people to be involved in their community. It has also played a part in my decision to return to a rural location to practice medicine after graduating from medical school.”

Currently in her second year of medical school at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Emily resides in Columbia with her husband, Luke Winfrey. She will return to Springfield for medical school clinical rotations for her last two years. Her goal following medical school and residency is to be a physician in a rural southwest Missouri location.

Carly Claflin – Sheldon

Carly attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater where she majored in plant and soil science, option in crop production and management. She completed her degree in May 2021.


At OSU, Carly was a three-year officer in the agronomy club, serving as student council representative, secretary and vice president. She was a member of the OSU Crop Judging team for two years and an assistant coach her senior year. 

Selected as a McKnight scholar, Carly was awarded the Sitlington undergraduate scholarship in May 2018. Additionally, she was awarded the Sitlington Outstanding Junior Scholarship as well as the Dr. Donnelly Crop Judging scholarship in April 2019.

Following her freshman year at OSU, Carly took part in an internship with the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Nowata, Oklahoma. From there, she interned in Sayre, Oklahoma, in the summer of 2019, and finished the three-year program the summer of 2020 in Chandler, Oklahoma. 

“Each place offered different learning opportunities as well as being able to provide conservational technical assistance for different counties across Oklahoma,” Carly explains. “I was able to work side-by-side with farmers and ranchers on cost-sharing for different resource concerns all the way from erosion control to spraying for invasive brush or herbaceous weeds.”

Carly adds that the experiences helped her build connections with federal employees from the Texas border in southwest Oklahoma to the Kansas line in the northeast part of the state. 

Working with NRCS near creek

“Each problem that was presented was a little bit different from the last, and it was quite the experience to watch how beneficial it was in the long run for landowners to work with their NRCS office in that county,” she says. 

As a soil conservationist for NRCS, Carly currently works in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where she continues to assist landowners to helping them create conservation plans. 

"If they decide to apply for one of our cost-share programs, I will create a potential plan for them to address their resource concerns,” Carly explains. “I also provide technical assistance by helping producers to identify brush/herbaceous species, meeting with them for field visits, develop grazing plans and provide herbicide recommendations.”

Carly resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and plans to continue working for the Oklahoma NRCS as a soil conservationist. Long-term, she plans to become a resource conservationist.

Vance Hesse – Cole Camp

Having graduated in May 2019 from State Technical School of Missouri in Linn, Vance majored in medium/heavy truck technology. 

While at State Tech, Vance participated in intramural sports and was on the honor roll. 

Currently, Vance works at ProEnergy in Sedalia where he repairs jet engines. He resides in Cole Camp and would one day like to own a mechanic shop in the town. He is married to Josilyn (Harms) Hesse.

Dillon Linneman – Carrollton

Dillon is a May 2021 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia where he received B.S. degrees in agriculture business management and agriculture systems technology.

Dillon Linneman in front of grain elevator

At MU, Dillon was active in CAFNR Ambassadors, MU Independent Aggies, Agriculture Systems Management Club and the FFA ag mechanics state contest development team. During his sophomore year, he was selected into the Litton Leadership Scholars Cohort.

The summer before his sophomore year in college, Dillon interned with Pfister Seeds where he developed and honed his communication skills. The following two summers, he spent with Bunge Grain in four locations along the Mississippi River. 

“During my time at Bunge, I learned how grain trades and how barge traffic flows through the river,” Dillon explains. “Those two experiences gave me an amazing platform to grow my career in the grain industry.”

Specifically, Dillon says he learned to manage barge logistics, how to maintain grain facilities, build customer relations, study markets, calculate margin structures and construct bids.

Dillon Linneman next to Bunge sign and elevator

“These internships laid a foundation for me to build on for how grain is moved throughout our world,” Dillon says. “Supply and demand are the basics and how it correlates to what a consumer is willing to pay.”

Dillon adds that math is important in his career. In fact, he says the amount of “hard” math that goes into it is very minimal but connecting with others who have experience in the field were helpful in getting him where he is today.

In his career as a grain merchandiser for Scoular Grain in southwest Iowa, Dillon not only buys grain from the farmer, but also competes in a highly competitive market to be more profitable. 

“Every day is a challenge battling against ethanol plants, shuttle loaders and time to maintain a profitable business,” Dillon explains. “Every day we work to find opportunities in our markets that allow us to capture strong margins and better serve our customers.”

Dillon is married to Elizabeth Linneman and lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Regan Meyer – Stanberry

Regan Meyer working as a civil engineer.

A May 2021 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Regan earned a B.S. in civil engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon engineering honor societies as well as an officer for the American Society of Civil Engineers organization. Regan graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors.

An opportunity to travel to Europe the summer before his freshman year in college found Regan experiencing France, Germany and Switzerland. After his junior year, he completed an internship with George Butler Associates (GBA), an architectural and engineering firm in Lenexa, Kansas. There, Regan worked on a variety of tasks and projects including bridge structural design and load rating as well as inspection of in-service bridges and overhead sign truss structures. Throughout college, he also worked part-time for Snyder Engineering in Columbia, a steel fabricator specializing in the design, detailing and fabrication of steel stair and railing systems. 


“Through these experiences, I was able to broaden my knowledge of the structural engineering field and gain a variety of valuable skills that helped set myself up to be successful in the early stages of my career,” Regan says. 

Currently a bridge engineer for GBA, Regan works on structural design, in-service inspection and load rating for bridges. He resides in Lenexa with his wife Allie and plans to obtain a professional engineer license in the future.

Carson Mowery – Salem

After earning an Associate of Arts degree in 2019 from East Central College (ECC) in Union, Carson went on to earn a B.A. in English literature with a minor in small press publishing from Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in Cape Girardeau in 2020.

Carson Mowery

During her time at ECC, Carson was involved with Phi Theta Kappa, the international honors society of two-year colleges. She served as both the secretary and president of her local chapter where the organization focused on research and volunteerism. 

Carson spent time as a Learning Center Specialist for ECC, tutoring students in English, writing, Spanish and computer skills.

An overseas travel experience sent Carson to London twice while she attended ECC.     

She explains the immersive opportunity, “We toured iconic museums and sights, saw live Shakespeare productions, toured universities and volunteered for a local arts organization.”  

Carson served as the marketing and communications intern for Heartland Camps the summer between ECC and SEMO. While at SEMO, she was a student worker in the marketing department and completed an internship with the campus publishing press where she evaluated submissions and made publication recommendations. In addition, Carson had two academic articles accepted for presentation during a conference for the Northeast Region of the Modern Language Association (MLA) and was able to present her work following graduation from SEMO.

“Each of these experiences were valuable both personally and professionally,” Carson says. “My writing and marketing experiences serve me in my current role and the perspective gained from traveling abroad ignited personal growth and a love of travel.”

Currently the campus life and leadership coordinator for East Central College, Carson oversees student clubs and organizations, orientation programs, activities and Student Government Association. She also co-chairs the institution’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and its Civic and Community Engagement Coalition.

A candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at Lindenwood University, Carson is halfway through earning a master’s degree. She expects to graduate in Summer 2023. Residing in Union, Carson’s long-term plans include begin a doctoral program. She is engaged to Luke Williams.  

Samantha (Schnake) Mueller – Stotts City

After earning an associate degree from Crowder College, Samantha went on to study animal science at Missouri State University. She graduated in May 2021. 

While at Crowder, Samantha interned with Taura Farms, gaining experience in the horse industry and learning how to run a boarding facility for performance and retired horses.  

During her time at MSU, she was active in the university’s cattlemen’s association and Sigma Alpha. She also worked at ShowMe Genetic Services, gaining full-time employment with the firm after college.

“At ShowMe Genetics, I gained many new skills involving cattle genetics, how to communicate with customers and co-workers and how to run a social media account for an agricultural business,” she says.

Recently married, Samantha and her husband, Jack Mueller, live in Throckmorton, Texas.

Megan Werdehausen – St. Thomas

Megan Werdehausen

Megan attended State Technical College of Missouri, earning an associate degree in business administration-accounting option in May 2019. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Accountancy from Central Methodist University in August 2020. 

At State Tech, Megan was honored to receive the Outstanding Student Award for the Business Administration-Accounting Option degree. Only one of the awards is given for the degree. Megan worked as an accounting intern for the State of Missouri Office of Administration/FMDC in the Capital Improvements Planning and Asset Management Unit. 

“Through this internship, a key highlight was working with a program manager to update assets on the Missouri State Fairgrounds,” Megan explains. “This allowed me several trips to walk and document the buildings and landmarks on the grounds as well as interact with contractors making additions and repairs to the state fairgrounds.”

Megan says the experience provided an understanding of how state funding is allocated and helped her learn the process for how contracting work on state facilities unfolds. 

Currently a loan accounting analyst for FCS Financial, Megan began working for the agricultural cooperative as an accounts payable specialist before graduating from Central Methodist. 

“It was always a dream of mine to work for FCS Financial, and I am blessed that this dream became a reality.”

Megan resides in Westphalia, and her future plans include buying a farm, building a house and raising a family.

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