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Rebekah Angell at airplane hanger

Catching up with FCS Financial's 2018 Scholarship Recipients

By Joann Pipkin

Committed to supporting agricultural youth of Missouri, FCS Financial is all about giving back to its members and supporting communities. To carry out those ideals, the FCS Financial board of directors established a scholarship program to encourage and support higher education.  

Now in its 21st year, FCS Financial’s scholarship program has awarded more than $825,000 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, 2024.  
Here’s an inside look at what some of the 2018 recipients are doing now. 

Rebekah Angell — Centralia

Rebekah Angell in an airplane hanger where she works.Following high school, Rebekah attended State Technical College of Missouri in Linn to study aviation maintenance. She says the program helped her combine the hands-on skills she developed working in the family’s livestock marketing business with her passion for aviation, which she acquired by spending time with a family friend who owned a plane. 

In 2020, a few months after graduating from State Tech, Rebekah moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, to work for West Star Aviation. 

"West Star is a flight-based operation,” Rebekah explains. “We’re also an MRO or maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. I work in the Citation maintenance department. Citation is the jet line of Cessna.”

Rebekah explains that she performs routine maintenance on a variety of models under the Citation jet. 

“We review everything on the plane, and then fix what’s needed before we send it on its way saying it’s good to fly again,” Rebekah says. 

She adds that through her career, she’s been able to meet a lot of interesting people in the aviation industry. And, West Star Aviation has sent her to engine and airframe school through flight safety. 

Rebekah currently makes her home in Grand Junction, Colorado, and plans to continue her career there in aviation.

Liberty Cox — Chillicothe

With her eyes set on a career in veterinary medicine, Liberty received her Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). She’s currently on track to graduate from MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2025. 

Liberty Cox holding an animal at a vet clinic.“One of the most rewarding opportunities I have had at MU was working in swine research at the Animal Science Center where I cared for pigs and helped carry out research studies,” Liberty says. 

During vet school, Liberty has served as president of the Women’s Veterinary Development Initiative chapter where she helped encourage members to advance their leadership skills and apply for leadership roles within veterinary medicine. She also traveled to South Africa with fellow classmates and doctors to perform animal health work on exotic species and support the country’s conservation programs. 

“One of the highlights of this experience was delivering vaccines to giraffes via dart gun while riding in a helicopter,” Liberty explains. “Additionally, we participated in a rhinoceros embryo retrieval surgery to aid in their conservation program to keep the endangered species from going extinct.”

Liberty Cox and her team leaning against a rhino that they are caring for.Other internships to work in clinics across the state are planned for Liberty as she approaches veterinary clinicals and looks to advance her skillset. 

She says these experiences have helped her develop in areas of animal handling, research, and conservation. She’s also gained clinical and leadership skills from the opportunities. 

“I am very thankful for these unique opportunities and will carry what I have learned from them into my career as a veterinarian,” Liberty says. “I am also very grateful for the assistance from FCS Financial and that they chose to invest in my education. I would not be where I am in my career today without their support, and I look forward to giving back to the agricultural industry within the field of veterinary medicine.”

Liberty currently resides in Columbia and plans to work in a mixed animal practice in the future. She’s engaged to Isaiah Boon. 

MacKenzie Davis — Mexico

MacKenzie is a December 2021 graduate of the University of Central Missouri (UCM) with a degree in biology, chemistry minor. 

At UCM, MacKenzie participated in the American Chemical Society, biology club, and collegiate FFA. She also received the American FFA Degree, was awarded a scholarship from UCM for chemistry and physics and was inducted into the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. 

Currently in her second year of pharmacy school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Columbia campus, MacKenzie also works at Sault’s Drug Store in Fulton as an intern pharmacist. She lives in Mexico and is engaged to Dane Henley. After graduating in the spring of 2026, MacKenzie plans to continue working in the independent community pharmacy setting serving the small community that helped raise her. 

Madelyn Derks — King City

Madelyn Derks standing in front of Mumford Hall at the University of Missouri.A May 2021 MU graduate, Madelyn studied agricultural business with an emphasis in public policy. While at MU she was active in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) student council, Sigma Alpha, Collegiate Farm Bureau and collegiate cattlemen organizations. Madelyn served in leadership positions in several of the groups and is a past state vice president for Missouri FFA Association.

Throughout her college experience, Madelyn interned with the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri 4-H Foundation. Additionally, she worked with Senator Dan Hegeman for two legislative sessions in Jefferson City, with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in Washington D.C. as a policy intern and with Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler in her Columbia office. 

Madelyn Derks walking down a Congressional hallway with an American flag on the left. “My last internship with Congresswoman Hartzler is what fueled my first job out of college,” Madelyn explains. “After graduating, I moved to Washington D.C. to work for the congresswoman as her staff assistant.”

Through her involvement in CAFNR, Madelyn says she had the opportunity to travel to Rome, Tuscany and Florence, Italy, to study food insecurity policy. 

“This experience allowed me to gain a unique view into the food systems of other countries and how policies like geographical indicators can impact producers and consumers,” Madelyn says. 

She adds that her experiences have enhanced her communication skills and helped grow her knowledge of ag policy and the entire legislative process.

“The people I met and the projects I worked on have allowed me to better serve Missouri farmers and ranchers on the federal policy level,” Madelyn says. 

Currently the senior legislative assistant for Congressman Mark Alford, Madelyn manages the congressman’s work on the House Agriculture Committee and labors on a variety of policy issues including agriculture, trade, education, transportation and energy. She resides in the nation’s capital and plans to continue her career in ag policy and government relations. 

Brendon Engeman — Montrose

Brendon graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in December 2023 with a B.S. in Agriculture Business. While at NWMSU, he was a member of Collegiate Farm Bureau where during his freshman year he helped the group host a panel-style event on food, nutrition and agriculture for students and Maryville community members. The event later shifted focus to a farm safety and advocacy event for surrounding elementary and middle schools. 

As a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Brendon was able to network and use his leadership skills to serve future agriculturalists of NWMSU. The experience provided him an avenue to meet and work with the largest organizational subset on the NWMSU campus. 

“Through Alpha Gamma Rho, I worked on the skills I learned in my business and finance classes as the chapter’s treasurer and bettered my professional and life skills as the president in 2022,” Brendon explains. “I also had the opportunity to assist and aid others in their development as a mentor to three of the underclassmen in my chapter.”

Brendon served as president of the Interfraternity Council at NWMSU in 2023 where he, along with six vice presidents, assisted members with social, academic and professional development. A member of Delta Tau Alpha Honor Society, Brendon worked with fellow agriculture students to hone his professional skills while networking with peers. He was also a homecoming committee member in 2021 and a royalty candidate in 2023. 

Other collegiate activities included participation in Order of Omega Honorary Society, an organization geared toward providing opportunities in education, service and philanthropy. 

“Every semester, members of Order of Omega meet monthly to address the needs of the community in the realm of education, both academically and professionally, and plan and host service and philanthropy events,” Brendon says. 

In 2022, Brendon served as a National Ag Day Delegate to Washington D.C. The collaboration of 4-H, FFA and Agriculture Future of America (AFA) brought together young adults to advocate for agricultural and vocational education in high schools. 

Brendon explains, “Missouri 4-H reached out to several of its senior members and recent alumni, and I was selected to represent the group. The program consisted of several logical meetings and sessions on how to speak with congressmen and women effectively. It also brought young agvocators to meet one-on-one with state legislators.” 

Brandon Engeman sit at the right of Jamie Gard, FCS Financial Services Specialist, at the Maryville office.As a marketplace intern in the summer of 2023 with FCS Financial, Brendon gained experience he says was beneficial in helping him fine-tune his career path.

“I am passionate about providing business and financial services to farmers and ranchers so they can focus on their family and the work that they are passionate about,” Brendon says. 

Following graduation from NWMSU in December 2023, Brendon plans to pursue a career in agricultural business and finance. 

Andrew Ernat — Hamilton

A summer 2022 graduate of Iowa State University (ISU), Andrew earned a B.S. in horticulture. While at ISU, he made the dean’s list each semester and was an active member of FarmHouse fraternity, horticulture club and the College of Agriculture student council. 

Internships took Andrew to Ball Horticultural Company and the Morton Arboretum before he joined the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at their headquarters in Rome, Italy.  

“Each experience was highly formative,” Andrew explains. “My time spent collaborating with FAO was the capstone to my college experience. In this program, I, and a team of three other students, drafted a guidance note, urging revisions to a widely adapted dietary survey to better account for wild foods.” 

According to Andrew, wild foods are a broad classification of foods generally considered hunted, gathered or opportunistically consumed. As part of the experience, he says he learned how to implement his education in real-world applications and adapt ideas to address broad, multi-cultural audiences.

“In this context, I most improved my ability to listen before leading,” Andrew says. 

Today, Andrew works for Ball Horticultural Company as their global seed conditioning lead. He resides in Batavia, Illinois, and says he looks forward to continuing to explore the world, gathering perspectives, finding passion in everyday life and in connecting with nature and agriculture. 

Andrew George — Canton

Andrew George stands in front of a John Deere tractor.A native of Canton, Andrew attended North Central Missouri College in Trenton, graduating in May 2020. He earned an associate degree in agriculture and natural resources with a crop production certificate. 

While at NCMC, Andrew served as president of Ag Club and Baptist Student Union. He was named the Outstanding AAS Agriculture and Natural Resources Student for the Class of 2020. He also took part in a 10-week internship with Prairieland Farm Supply in Taylor, Missouri, where he says he enjoyed networking with farmers in the area. 

Andrew is a farmer and substitute bus driver.

Dallas Kleiboeker — Pierce City

Dallas is a May 2021 graduate of MU with a degree in agribusiness management. While at MU, he was a Jerry Litton Leadership Scholar through CAFNR and the Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation. He served as a member of the cohort during the 2019-2020 school year and was honored to be selected as one to learn about Litton’s legacy, build leadership skills and learn how to make an impact in community and agriculture. 

Also, during his time as an undergraduate, Dallas served as a defensive student assistant for the Missouri Tigers football team. In this role, he gathered stats, watched film and helped players run drills. While the experience was not related to agriculture, Dallas says it was an awesome college opportunity. 

Dallas Kleiboeker and three other young men stand in front of Corteva agriscience sign.Dallas traveled to Indiana with his twin brother, Donell, and two other Missourians as part of the New Century Farmer program through the National FFA Organization. The group met with other young agriculturalists from across the U.S. and visited production agriculture operations and businesses in the Indianapolis area. 

“We were able to learn from one another about the diversity of agriculture, state to state, and discuss important topics and issues within the industry,” Dallas explains. 

Selected as an Ag Experience Intern for MFA, Inc., Dallas focused the opportunity on agronomy. He says, “Being raised on a beef cattle farm, the experience really helped me gain a better understanding of a side of production agriculture that I hadn’t previously known.”

Dallas resides in Columbia and works as the retail credit and membership manager for MFA, Inc. 

“Credit and finance were a career path I honestly didn’t expect to follow,” he explains. “However, I’ve grown a passion for helping producers find ways to finance their operations in a manner that best fits their individual needs.” 

Allee Koestner — California

Allee Koestner stands next to a poster about her research project.A graduate of Iowa State University (ISU), Allee received a B.S. in agronomy in May 2022. She was an active member of the University Honors Program where she taught an introductory course for freshman entering the program.

“I also served on multiple committees and as an ambassador for the honors program,” Allee explains. “As a senior, I completed a research project evaluating how tillage practices affect microbial populations to allow me to graduate with university honors recognition.”

As a member of the International Association of Students in Agriculture or Related Sciences, Allee served on the group’s leadership team and traveled to several agricultural-related conferences, including the United Nation’s Youth Assembly and the Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference. Other notables from her college experience are serving on the FCS Financial Stockholder Advisory Committee, receiving the American FFA Degree and being awarded an Agronomy Fellowship Scholarship.

In addition to club activities, Allee was employed with a corn breeding lab and worked in a research setting focused on soil and plant interactions through the ISU Department of Agronomy. Allee took part in an internship with Compass Minerals, where she focused on fertilizer product development research, and WinField United as a summer research technician for the company’s Answer Plots across the state of Iowa. 

Allee Koestner stands in a field of corn smiling.A spring break travel abroad course to Costa Rica found Allee learning about the country’s agricultural practices while another opportunity placed her in the Pay-It Forward Tour with a service-based organization.

“We traveled across the country volunteering for various organizations along our route,” Allee explains. “I also had the opportunity to participate in a National Student Exchange to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for a semester.”

Allee says the travel and work experiences broadened her knowledge of agriculture, narrowing down her interests to find a future career path. 

“I found value in being open to learning about many different aspects of agronomy and the agricultural industry,” Allee says. “This helped me to find the aspects of the industry that I am most interested in and where I believed my skills could most impact the industry. I also learned the value of having a strong community of people both in and outside of agriculture to learn from and help guide me along the way.”

Allee resides in Champaign, Illinois, where she works as a field specialist for Advanced Agrilytics in the east central part of the state. 

"I am grateful for the team I have here, who has guided me through the start of my career,” Allee says. “I hope to stay with this team as I grow as an agronomist in the future.”

Andi (Montgomery) Atkisson — Everton

Andi Atkisson stands in front of the FCS Financial sign.Andi graduated in May 2022 from Missouri State University with a degree in agricultural business and communications. At MSU, she took part in Delta Tau Alpha agriculture honor society, MSU Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow, the Centennial Leader Program, Sigma Alpha professional sorority, and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Additionally, Andi served as an MSU Peer Leader, providing guidance for first generation college of agriculture students. 

As manager of the MSU Campus Garden, Andi helped donate and grow more than 1,200 pounds of fresh produce to food insecure students and pantries and assisted in developing useful technology strategies to highlight the best qualities of each assistant. She is a past Missouri FFA state vice president, where she traveled the state engaging members through workshops and speaking opportunities. 

In 2018, Andi was selected as a participant on the Taiwan Agriculture Industry Study. She interned with FCS Financial and the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds as well. 

Atkisson family stands in front of a Christmas tree with Tyler Keatts, FCS Financial loan officer, and accepts a Legacy with FCS Financial award.“Through these opportunities, I developed life skills — how to interact and perform in a professional atmosphere, accept challenges and changes, and bring new ideas to the table,” Andi explains. “Getting to see the diversity of agriculture allowed me to value the lifestyle of rural Missourians.” 

While in college, Andi began working part-time at FCS Financial and following college, she accepted a full-time role as a financial services specialist in the cooperative’s Springfield and Joplin branch offices. 

“Each day I get to work with customers who make a direct impact in my local community,” Andi says. “I have loved the last year and a half of working with FCS!”

Married for three years to her next-door neighbor and high school sweetheart, Andi and her husband, Wyatt, purchased a farm that adjoins both of their parents’ property and raise Angus cattle. 

She concludes, “My biggest goal is to serve my neighbors and build a life of giving back. It takes a village to carry on the respect and outpouring of the agricultural industry, and I don’t want that to die with my generation.”

Halle (Oliver) Oerly — California

An MU graduate, Halle received her undergraduate degree in agribusiness management/public policy in 2021 and her Master of Accountancy in 2022. She holds a certificate in American Constitutional Democracy. 

In her first year of college, Halle was selected to participate in the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. She was in the Honor’s College throughout her time as an undergraduate and completed her studies with her Honor’s Certificate. Halle was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, was on the steering committee for Caring for Columbia, a student-led volunteer organization, and served as a CAFNR Ambassador. 

Halle worked as a graduate teaching assistant while earning her master’s. She is currently in law school and a member of the Tax and Transactional Law Society. 

“I participated in the 2023 Tax and Transactional Law Competition and was a member of the first-place team,” she explains. “I also participated in 1L Moot Court, where students practice oral arguments in front of a mock-appellate court, where I was named among the ‘Top 10 Oralists.’”

Throughout her collegiate experiences and during a 2020 internship at The Law Firm of Haden & Colbert, Halle honed her leadership and communication skills and learned how to efficiently budget time amid several obligations. 

Currently in her second year of law school at the MU School of Law, Halle continues to work at The Law Firm of Haden & Colbert. She plans to complete law school in the spring of 2025 and focus her career on transactional law. She is married to Matt Oerly and the couple reside in Columbia. 

Jane Zuroweste — Truxton

Jane is a May 2022 graduate of MU with a degree in agribusiness management/minor in agronomy. 

Jane Zuroweste stands in front of a sign that says Keep Growing.

While at MU, Jane was involved in Kappa Delta sorority as well as Mizzou Homecoming and Greek Week. Additionally, she took part in the Agribusiness Club and in the Dickinson Scholar program, where she toured Kansas City area agribusinesses. 

Through an MU study abroad experience, Jane traveled to New Zealand where she learned about the country’s diverse agriculture. 

“New Zealanders farm chicory, which I thought was a huge difference compared to here, where it’s considered a weed,” Jane explains. “There, chicory is baled and fed to animals. We also visited a kiwi farm and got to see other vineyards and orchards. It was a neat experience because I had never seen that. It’s just corn, soybeans and wheat where I grew up.”

An internship opportunity with ServiTech sent Jane to Colby, Kansas. 

“It was the first time I really got to see how different corn and soybeans grew out there, just mainly due to it all being irrigated in circles,” Jane explains. “I got to experience different kinds of weeds and (plant) diseases. Those are a very prevalent issue there.” 

Another career exploration experience placed Jane in Utica, Illinois, with Corteva Pioneer where she worked as a production agronomist.  

Jane Zuroweste stands in a sunflower field with another woman.

“I spent the summer there on a production team working to breed the hybrids that farmers would go on to plant the following crop year,” she says.

Jane added to her internship portfolio through a sales experience with Corteva. Based in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, she learned the company’s products as well as how to assist farmers and agribusinesses. The opportunity led her to help with a rebranding project from what was formerly known as Mycogen. 

Following college graduation in 2022, Jane accepted a position with Corteva in Woodland, California, where she worked as a production agronomist with sunflowers. 

“I loved that experience,” Jane says. “Being able to move to California and experience agriculture from a completely different setting was probably one of the coolest experiences that I’ve had thus far. I got to see just how diverse California agriculture is.”

From California, Jane relocated to Nebraska as a production agronomist for the company. Recently, she moved back to Missouri after having accepted a position as a crop insurance agent for FCS Financial. Working out of the O’Fallon, Farmington and Union offices, Jane says her current position allowed her to get back into the sales side of agriculture while helping farmers on a more personal level. 

Jane says stepping out of her comfort zone and moving across the country to experience a different side of agriculture allowed her to learn more about the industry.

“I really grew a lot by moving (to California and Nebraska),” Jane says. “It helped me strengthen my toolbox and have a stronger understanding of my career, giving me more diverse skills to work with farmers.”

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