Winners of Branstad State Fair scholarship named

Tressa Schultz

Winners of Branstad State Fair scholarship named

Three college-bound Iowans will receive the Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship for 2021-22, Iowa College Aid announced today. The scholarship, named for the longtime Iowa governor and former U.S. ambassador to China, recognizes outstanding Iowa high school seniors who have actively participated in the fair. This year’s winners will each receive $2,000. They are:

  • Ruby Hummel, a graduate of Panorama High School, plans to study music education at Drake University. Ruby exhibited photos and sculpture at the fair and regularly took part in 4-H Share the Fun, performing in group skits and playing piano solos. She also won the opportunity to perform in the Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Building on multiple occasions. “The Iowa State Fair was a big deciding factor in my future education and career path,” she says. “These performances, and having the opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd, made me realize how much I love performing and how much I enjoy music. Music became something I wanted to pursue and give to others in my life well into the future.”
  • Gavin Tindle, a graduate of Montezuma High School, plans to major in agricultural business and minor in animal science at Iowa State University. Gavin has camped at the fair every year of this life—a tradition that goes back to his great-grandparents. His fair participation evolved over the years from Mutton Bustin’ and the Pedal Tractor Pull to winning awards for photographs, antiques, flowers, brownies, rabbits, and goats. “My love of agriculture grew from the fond memories of being at the Iowa State Fair and seeing how ag impacts the lives of everyone—not just one person, but the world,” he says. “I feel honored that I have basically grown up being an Iowa State Fair kid.”
  • Sierra Wegener, a graduate of Northeast Middle-High School in Goose Lake, plans to study animal science and agricultural business at Iowa State University. Sierra grew up helping her parents show livestock at the fair and eagerly awaited her turn, eventually winning three Supreme Champion awards for her sheep. Sierra says the fair has not only taught her about agriculture but also given her the opportunity to teach. “Educating people about the agriculture industry is one of my favorite things because people may not know where their food comes from, or how almost everything that we have can be traced back to agriculture in some way,” she says. “If I can be an advocate for the industry that I love and people can see my passion for it, maybe I can make an impact on them and they could teach others as well.”

A common thread in all three winners’ application essays was the fair’s impact on their career paths. “These stories underscore the value of the Iowa State Fair for education, not just entertainment,” said Dr. Mark Wiederspan, Executive Director of Iowa College Aid. “This kind of career exploration is an important component of preparing young Iowans for lifetime success.”

The winners will be honored at the fair on Saturday, August 14, on the Bill Riley Stage, just before the crowning of the Iowa State Fair Queen.

Iowa College Aid will also host an information booth in the Varied Industries Building, at the center of the south wall. Visitors can take selfies with Cash the College Aid Dog, receive free mood pencils, download a free mobile app for college planning, sign up for free virtual college coaching, and order free college planning guides.