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Scholarships

Since 1990, the NILE has awarded scholarships to deserving FFA and 4-H students that have been actively involved in their respective programs and communities, excelled in the classroom, and participated in NILE events. "Promoting the future of agriculture through the support of youth via scholarships is a long-standing tradition of NILE." says Jennifer Boka, General Manager of the NILE. "Educating today's youth to be tomorrows ag proponents is crucial to the entire world and we at the NILE are proud to support and embrace the future of agriculture."
Similar to previous years, the NILE Scholarship Committee will be awarding five levels of scholarships.
  • High School One Time Scholarship - Awarded to high school seniors that meet the qualifications listed in the guidelines.
  • Secondary One Time Scholarship - Offered will also be a one-time grant, for students already enrolled in College or a Vo-Tech school meeting the qualifications.
  • Shining Star: All qualified applicants are eligible. This scholarship is for an applicant that stands out in the crowd.
  • Needle In The Haystack – This scholarship will be awarded to any NILE scholarship applicant if they attend Stetsons & Stilettos in May 2018. The winner will be randomly drawn that night.
  • Rolling Scholarship - The rolling scholarships will be offered to a select group of High School Seniors who will have the opportunity to renew the scholarship yearly, up to four years of their secondary education. Recipients of rolling scholarships will be chosen from the pool of applicants that are current seniors in High School.

The NILE Foundation was established in 2009 as a supporting arm of the NILE organization, which is dedicated to the promotion of livestock, agriculture education and respect for the western culture.


Each year the NILE and NILE Foundation touch the lives of nearly 10,000 youth through the many programs, events, "live" animal scholarships, and college scholarships. Together, these organizations provide over $75,000 in cash and live animal scholarships annually. If you're interested in contributing to the NILE Foundation send a donation to P.O. Box 1981, Billings, MT 59103

Applications will be available in January 2018 on the NILE website or by contacting the NILE Office at 406-256-2495. Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2018 by 5pm (postmarked March 1st will not be accepted). Applications incomplete or late will not be considered. Scholarships will be awarded and announced in early April 2018.
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2017 One Time Freshman Recipients - $1,000

Bryson Mills

Bryson Mills

is the son of Doug and Dena Mills of Hulett, WY. He is the current student at Hulett High School, where he will graduate in May. Bryson plans to attend the University of Wyoming to study Ag Business, with hopes of taking over the family farm and becoming an AI Technician.  
Danni Nardinger

Danni Nardinger

plans to attend MSU-Billings to major in Nursing, with the hopes of specializing in Oncology. This May, she will graduate from Joliet High School. Danni is the daughter of Phillip and Stacie Nardinger of Joliet, MT.  
Hayden O'Hara

Hayden O'Hara

of Cody, WY is the son of Troy and Shawn Wiant. After graduation from Cody High School, he plans to attend Northwest College to obtain a degree in Animal Science. He hopes to work within the Agricultural or Plant industry while growing his cattle herd. 
Brett Robertus

Brett Robertus

is a soon-to-be graduate of Laurel High School. He is the son of Jason and Tammy Robertus. His post high school plans include attending Northwest College in Powell, WY to study Agriculture Business and then return home to the family farm. 
TyAnn Tellefson

TyAnn Tellefson

is the daughter of Myles and Lisa Tellefson of Warden, WA. Currently, TyAnn is a soon-to-be graduate at Lind-Ritzville High School in Ritzville, WA where she will graduate in June. After graduation, she plans to attend University of Idaho in Moscow, ID to pursue a degree in AgriBusiness.  
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2017 Shining Star Freshman Scholarship - $2,000

Kade Friede

Kade Friede

plans to attend Montana State University in Bozeman, MT to major in Civil Engineering with future plans of owing a small registered Black Angus herd. Kade is a soon-to-be graduate of Chinook High School. He is the son of Scott and Fay Friede of Chinook, MT.  
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2017 Secondary Scholarship Recipients - $1,000

Chanelle Brusseau

Chanelle Brusseau

is currently attending the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID majoring in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, with a minor in Animal Science & Pre-Health. After college she plans on working in an animal genetics lab. Chanelle is the daughter of Trent and Nikki Brusseau of Caldwell, ID. 
Catherine Dekker

Catherine Dekker

is a native of Billings, MT, and is the daughter of Thomas and Valerie Dekker. Currently, Cathy is attending Rocky Mountain College pursuing a degree in Business Management and Accounting, with hopes of becoming an Accountant for an Ag & Equine Business. Cathy was one of the great interns that joined the NILE in 2016.  
ShayLe Hhildebrand

ShayLe Hhildebrand

is the daughter of Howdy and Sheila Hildebrand of Joliet, MT. At the present time, ShayLe is studying Ag Business at Northwest College in Powell, WY. Her future plans include working as a Market Reporter for the United States Cattlemen's Association.  
Codie Lagao

Codie Lagao

native of Union, OR and daughter of Phil and Heidi Lagao, is a current student at Oregon State University and Eastern Oregon University pursuing a degree in Agriculture Science & Economics. She plans on attending Grad School for Ag Education following completion of her undergrad studies. Codie was one of the great interns that joined NILE in 2016. 
Trey Nansel

Trey Nansel

is attending the Montana State University in Bozeman, MT to obtain a degree in Electrical Engineering. His future plans include pursuing a career in the power industry as an Electrical Engineer. Trey is the son of Jay and Gayle Nansel of Billings, MT.  
Jessi Kate Shockley

Jessi Kate Shockley

is a current student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY pursuing a degree in Agriculture Communications and Business Management. Katie is a native of Wheatland, WY and is the daughter of Marty Shepard and Missy Shockley. Katie was one of the great interns that joined NILE in 2016.  
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2017 Rolling Scholarship Recips- $1,000 Annually

Konnar Knotwell

Konnar Knotwell

a soon-to-be graduate of Encampment K-12 School is the daughter of Guy and Lael Knotwell of Encampment, WY. Konnar plans to attend Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, WY to pursue a degree in Farm & Ranch Management. While at LCCC, Konaar will compete on the Rodeo and Livestock Show Teams. Her future goals include working on a large ranch and training rope horses.  
Kelsey Kraft

Kelsey Kraft

plans to attend Montana State University in Bozeman, MT to double major in Agricultural Education and Elementary Education after graduation from Laurel High School in Laurel, MT. Kelsey is the daughter of Rick and Brenda Kraft of Billings, MT. Her future plans include becoming an Ag or Elementary Teacher.  
Ty Paisley

Ty Paisley

is the son of Steve and Carrie Paisley of Wheatland, WY. Ty plans to attend the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY to major in Agriculture Business. Ty hopes to return to the family ranch and become the 5th generation rancher after completing college.  
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2016 Rolling Scholarship Recipients - $1,000 Annually

Molly Cooksey

Molly Cooksey

is the daughter of Jeffrey and Amy Cooksey of Roggen, CO. Molly is currently attending Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO to pursuing a degree in Animal Science. Her future plans include transferring to Colorado State University after the completion of her Associate's Degree at NJC. Her long term goal is to become an Embryo Transfer Technician.  
Elizabeth French

Elizabeth French

currently attends Montana State University in Bozeman, MT pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business, while competing on the MSU Rodeo Team. Elizabeth is the daughter of Jim and Debbie French of Pompey's Pillar, MT. Her future plans include becoming an Ag Lender after college.  
Hannah Kraft

Hannah Kraft

is the daughter of Rick and Brenda Kraft of Billings, MT. Hannah is currently attending Northwest College in Powell, WY majoring in Agriculture Business, while competing on the Livestock Judging Team. She hopes to work in the field of Ag Sales or Marketing after completing college.  
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2015 Rolling Scholarship Recipients - $1,000 Annually

Cody Boyce

Cody Boyce

Cody Boyce, native of Lewistown, MT and daughter of Bill and Kim Boyce, is a current sophomore at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT pursuing a degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. She plans on transferring to Vet School after completing her undergraduate studies. 
Cierra Lamey

Cierra Lamey

Cierra is attending the University of Montana - Western in Dillon, MT to obtain a degree in Biology. Her future plans include applying for Vet School post undergrad and becoming a practicing Veterinarian. Cierra is the daughter of Cory and Kari Lamey of Wise River, MT.  
Jayelyn Ruckman

Jayelyn Ruckman

is the daughter of Bruce and Janae Ruckman of Fairfield, MT. Jayelyn is currently attending Casper College in Casper, WY majoring in Animal Science and is undecided as to where she will continue college following graduation this spring. While in Casper, she has competed on the livestock judging team.  
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2014 Rolling Scholarship Recipients - $1,000 Annually

Rachael Buzanowski

Rachael Buzanowski

native of Pompey's Pillar, MT, is a Junior majoring in Animal Science at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS and is working towards becoming an Agricultural Lawyer after college. Buzanowski is the daughter of Bernie and Stacie Buzanowski.  
Jaclyn Ketchum

Jaclyn Ketchum

Jaclyn Ketchum is the daughter of Bruce and Tena Ketchum of Plevna, MT. Currently, Jaclyn is attending Kansas State University studying Animal Science. After college, she plans receive her Masters and Doctoral Degree to become an Animal Scientist and research the reproductive system of cattle.  
Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams is wrapping up her junior year at Montana State University where she is majoring in Animal Science & Natural Resources--Rangeland Ecology. Amanda is the daughter of Kent and Christine Williams of Miles City, MT. At the conclusion of college she sees herself working as a County Extension Agent.  
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