Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship winners announced

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


Elizabeth Keest Sedrel
(o) 515-725-3417  (c) 515-710-1257

Two ISU-bound students will be honored August 10

Tate Boysen of Columbus Junction and Morgan Johnston of Lenox are the 2019 winners of the Governor Terry E. Branstad State Fair Scholarship, Iowa College Aid announced today. The scholarship recognizes outstanding Iowa high school seniors who have actively participated in the Iowa State Fair and plan to attend an Iowa college or university. Each of this year’s winners will receive $2,000 and a certificate of recognition signed by former Iowa Governor Branstad, who is now U.S. Ambassador to China.

Tate is a graduate of Wapello Senior High School and plans to attend Iowa State University. He has camped at the Iowa State Fair every year of his life, starting when he was an infant. He joined the Blue Ribbon Kids Club, then 4-H and FFA, and was inspired to start showing pigs and cattle after his sisters won Reserve Champion Market Hog in back-to-back years. Tate has since earned multiple awards of his own, including Division 1 Commercial Heifer in 2018 and Grand Champion Purebred Breeding Gilt in 2014. Even more than the awards, Tate values his friendships from the fair. “The friends I have met will never be replaced,” he says. ”These people have the same interest, passion, and ambition as I do.”

Morgan is a graduate of Lenox High School and also plans to attend Iowa State University. She has attended the fair with her family “every summer since I can remember.” Morgan has won ribbons for her black raspberry jam, cucumber lime pickles, and ranch seasoning, as well as a “Helping My Community” exhibit, and she has volunteered at Little Hands on the Farm and the Iowa Farm Bureau Park Tent. Besides favorite foods like the Hot Beef Sundae, she looks forward to the camaraderie of the fair. “it is huge, with thousands of people, yet you are running into people you know the whole time you are there,” she says. “And the strangers you meet are friendly and bring their small-town hospitality with them.”

“This scholarship honors two young Iowans who have embraced the value of community embodied in the Iowa State Fair,” said Karen Misjak, executive director of Iowa College Aid, the state agency that administers the scholarship. ”We’re pleased to help their efforts to further their education, and we look forward to seeing how they continue to build that sense of community in our state.”

Tate and Morgan will be recognized at the fair on Saturday, August 10, at 6:45 p.m. on the Anne & Bill Riley Stage.

Iowa College Aid will exhibit in the Varied Industries Building at the fair. Fairgoers are invited to take part in a college-theme poll, and free publications will be available. Iowa College Aid staff will be on hand to answer questions about planning, preparing and paying for college.

Find more information about Iowa College Aid at Find more information about the Gov. Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship at