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Scholarship Winner: Cole Hicken

Cole Hicken, son of Sheri and the late Jeffrey Hicken, graduated from Waupun Area High School with an explementary academic record and future goals in agriculture. 

As a six-year member of the Waupun FFA, Cole earned the Star Chapter FFA Member Award because of his leadership in spear-heading a mental health and wellness initiative and for his teamwork with the FAA Clothes Closet. He plans to be involved in the local chapter after he graduates from high school. 

Cole is a three-season athlete playing soccer, basketball, and baseball all four years of high school. During that time Cole led his soccer teammates as team captain and was recognized for his skill at the conference level as 1st team Team All-Conference Soccer Player, Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the National Central Plains All-Tournament Team. Cole served his school community through his active membership in a variety of organizations, including Be the Change, National Honor Society, Warrior Nation, and as a Student Ambassador. Additionally, Cole is a crew member at Rens Nursery.

Cole’s main essay set his application apart from other applicants when he addressed the importance of “hard work, dedication, and passion” to achieve his goals. He reflected that, “The decisions you make when no one is looking will forever define the true character of who you are.” He is motivated by the “concept of being there for your neighbor and being able to provide for others through thick and thin.”

Agriculture has been a prominent part of Cole’s life. He started milking cows on a local dairy farm and his passion for the industry grew through his involvement in FFA. As Cole sees it, “With the world population growing at incredible rates, the agriculture industry is in charge of producing more food with even less land...requiring new innovations and techniques.” In addition to agriculture, Cole understands the power of applied data and is “fascinated with numbers and money” so he plans to major in Agricultural Economics.

Although Cole acknowledges the change from a small rural community to a larger urban community is intimidating, he knows that he can not achieve his goal of “finding higher efficiency and higher productivity” within the ag industry to keep up with the growing demand for food unless he moves to Madison and becomes a Badger!