Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship



The winner of our $1,000 scholarship is Ms. Olivia Edoff         Olivia Edoff Scholarship Picture

Olivia Edoff is the daughter of Scott and Veronica Edoff. She graduated from New Underwood high school in 2015 and is currently entering her Junior year at South Dakota State University in Vermillion.  She is pursuing a career in Criminal Justice and Psychology.  Olivia is a Law Honors student and has been pre-accepted into the university’s law school.

While that might not seem like a traditional agriculture career, Olivia makes a compelling argument that her passion for agriculture and her dreams for making a difference are going to be integral to shaping our rural communities. That and her high school internship working at the SD Stockgrowers office where she helped do research on policy issues and forest service land use planning.

Olivia says that a law degree will allow her to pursue a career in agriculture by serving people in our rural communities. She says, “I understand the people who make up rural American and agriculture in a way few lawyers do.  Watching my parents struggle to preserve their land, rights, and way of life against government entities, special interest groups, and the threat of eminent domain has inspired me to dream of helping other families struggling as my parents have.”

We’re proud to present Olivia Edoff with this $1,000 scholarship to help her pursue a career in agriculture.



The winner of the $500 scholarship is Ms. Mariah Kessler.

MariahKesslerMariah graduated from T.F. Riggs High School in 2015, and just started her Junior year of college at South Dakota State University in Brookings. She is pursuing a degree in agriculture communications and is on track to graduate in May of 2019.

Mariah says that during her childhood she spent quite a bit of time at her grandparents and longtime Stockgrowers members Bill and Donna Adrian’s ranch. There she learned to ride and learned an appreciation for livestock and the work that goes into a successful operation. Mariah still maintains a small herd of cattle and says she’ll continue to do that.

Mariah was very active in 4-H and FFA through her high school career and continues to be involved in mentoring students through her classes and club activities. She served as president of the college farm bureau, and as a publicist for Pierson Hall Government on SDSU’s campus. She has attended several national level conferences across the country to try to expand her understanding of agriculture in different parts of the U.S.




2018 Scholarship Form

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is proud to accept applications for a $1,000 and a $500 scholarship, to be awarded on September 28, 2018. These scholarships are made possible by the generosity and gift of the Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship in memory of Guy Ham and his commitment to the future of the agriculture industry in South Dakota.


The Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship is available to students who

•Have successfully completed at least one full year of post-high school academic study.
• Are attending an institution of Higher Education including university, community colleges and technical schools, preparing for a career in Agriculture or Agri-Business.

• Are current members, or children of current members, of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Applicants may join SD Stockgrowers at the time of Application.
(A membership form is available at

Application must include:

1. Application form provided. 2018 Scholarship Form
2. Copy of your full year grade and a course transcript of record.
3. Narrative essay answering: “Why I want to pursue a career in Agriculture” (500 word minimum)
4. Photo. Photos requested – in the event you are awarded a scholarship, photo will be used for publication. (Mailed photos will be returned or you may email photo.)

Please mail completed applications to:
SDSGA Scholarship, 426 St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
OR email to

DEADLINE for Application:

Applications must be postmarked or received via email by the close of business on August 1, 2018.

The Scholarships will be awarded during SD Stockgrowers Association Annual Convention and Trade Show Banquet on Friday, September 28, 2018. The recipients of the scholarship will be expected to attend the banquet if possible.

The scholarships will be paid by South Dakota Stockgrowers Association & The Guy E. Ham Scholarship Trust no later than November 1, 2018 directly to the educational institution being attended by the recipient.

For more information please contact Silvia Christen, Executive Director,  South Dakota Stockgrowers Association at           605-342-0429 or office@southdakotastockgrowers.orgDonations to the Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship are gratefully accepted by the SD Stockgrowers Association for the purpose of continuing this scholarship program. Please contact Silvia Christen if you would like to make a contribution to this scholarship.