Aaron Jacob Latham Memorial Scholarship Fund
If life was a high school yearbook and we held mock elections, Aaron Jacob Latham would have been voted “Class Clown.” He had a heart of gold but he definitely had the mind of a jester. Even during the most serious times, you could count on Aaron to lighten the load with a smile and a laugh.
In 2002, Aaron enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Aaron served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Kuwait in his four years of active duty. He would continue on in a non-active reserve status for an additional four years.
While in reserve status, and after a couple of adventures, Aaron finally found his calling on a local farm. Even as a young boy, Aaron could be found playing in the dirt, tinkering with equipment/motors or causing general mischief. He quickly learned that working on the farm allowed him the opportunity to do all of that. After working on the farm under his mentor for many years, he entered into partnership with another local farm. Through that partnership, Aaron was able to commission the building of two large barns and secured a contract with a large pork company. He did not get to see the completion of the barns.
In July 2014, Aaron passed away in a car accident at the age of 32. He had just figured out what he wanted to do with his life and was anxious to get started.His love for life and all things farming prompted the family to create the Aaron Jacob Latham Memorial Scholarship Fund. He will be forever missed but his legacy and passion will live on.
Aaron did not expect much of others: contribute to society and figure out a way to have fun while doing it. He would say that life is a reflection of the choices that one makes and that it is no one else’s job to better your circumstances. On the other hand, he also believed that everyone deserves to be given a chance. Worth cannot be measured by family name, grades, gender, or age. Aaron’s family hopes that this scholarship fund will assist individuals to better their lives and pursue their agricultural passion, whether it be agricultural farming, equine, ranch management, dairy, organic, or even running their family farm.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Aaron Jacob Latham Memorial Scholarship:
• Student shall be planning a career in some form of farming/agricultural studies. This may include, but is not limited to, agricultural farming, equine, ranch management, dairy, organic or degrees/certificates necessary for running a family farm;
• Student shall have maintained a 2.0 - 3.5 grade point average;
• Student shall have obtained their high school diploma, GED or equivalent in Isabella County or from Chippewa Hills School District; and
• Student shall be planning to enroll at an accredited college, university or trade school.
In selecting the most qualified applicant to receive the scholarship, reviewers should give preference to applicants whose career plans, past accomplishments and background best address the following:
• Student has served in some branch of the United States Military;
• Student has financial need, as expressed in the applicant’s written essay;
• Student enjoys and actively participates in the outdoor sports of hunting, marksmanship/shooting or is an avid gun enthusiast, as expressed in the applicant’s written essay; and
• Student has an adventurous spirit and outgoing personality, as expressed in the applicant’s written essay.
2018 Scholarship Award: $1,000
Application Deadline: March 2, 2018