Future Careers Boosted by Morris Foundation Scholarships

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jayne Wilgus, 612-343-8272, wilgus.jayne@dorsey.com

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The careers of three future leaders will be boosted by scholarships from the Ralph K. Morris Foundation.

Amber Rose Roberts of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Hannah Marie Stith Scott of Georgetown, Ohio, received $2,500 scholarships from the Elroy Webster Cooperative Studies Fund. The scholarships provide financial support to graduate students or law school students enrolled in an agricultural cooperative program or that can demonstrate how their field of study would relate to or benefit the agricultural cooperative industry. The scholarships were supported by a $5,000 grant from CHS Foundation.

Megan M. Butler of St. Paul, Minnesota, received a $2,500 scholarship from the Ralph K. Morris Foundation’s Cooperative Leadership Fund, which provides financial support to help cover costs associated with training, professional development and educational programs for young leaders interested in the future of cooperatives and rural communities.

Roberts earned her undergraduate degree at Montana State University in Bozeman. She is pursuing a master’s degree in applied economics at the University of Minnesota.

Scott completed undergraduate work at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, did graduate work at The Ohio State University in Columbus where she currently works in a program that supports cooperatives. She is now pursuing a law degree at the University of Cincinnati.

Megan Butler

Butler earned an undergraduate degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and is a graduate student in natural resources science and management at the University of Minnesota. She is the first student to receive Ralph K. Morris Foundation support for natural resources-related graduate studies, reflecting the Foundation’s heightened emphasis on land and water stewardship in addition to cooperative leadership. “I am drawn to working with and understanding cooperatives due to their unique governance and decision-making structures,” she said, adding: “I have also worked on projects related to sustainable rural land and natural resource use in Minnesota and internationally.”

Amber Roberts

In her application, Roberts expressed a “passion for agricultural cooperatives and their immense impact on the agricultural industry.” She has interned with two cooperatives and plans to work at an agricultural cooperative when she completes her master’s degree. “Agricultural cooperatives have ensured that communities across rural America are able to receive better commodity prices, reduce transportation costs, and provide necessary inputs at fair prices to spur economic growth. Cooperatives stand with their members during tough times to ensure that not only the cooperative survives, but also that they are able to keep family-farms going for generations,” she said.

Hannah Scott

Scott is a staff member at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State where she carries out programming that integrates the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the University to create and extend knowledge to emerging and existing cooperatives. “My passion for this work comes from my passion for rural communities and agriculture – cooperative development is rural development,” she said. “In the next century, agriculture will continue changing significantly. Because cooperatives are centers of economic efficiency that spread risk, I think that the model will play an important role in ag innovation in the future.”


The Elroy Webster Cooperative Studies Fund was established in 2008 by the Ralph K. Morris Foundation to honor Elroy Webster, Minnesota farmer and nationally recognized cooperative and agricultural leader. The Fund provides a scholarship and honorary award to graduate students or law students interested in agriculture and cooperatives. The award will encourage and support the development of innovation and acumen in future cooperative business, law and economics leaders, thus ensuring that cooperatives continue to meet the needs of agricultural producers and rural communities in the future.

For more information on the Fund and the application process, please visit the Foundation website at www.ralphkmorrisfoundation.org.

The Ralph K. Morris Foundation was established in 2001 to carry on the legacy of a great cooperative leader, attorney Ralph Morris. The objective of the Foundation is to provide development opportunities for emerging leaders expressing interest in applying and advancing the principles of cooperation. The Foundation provided over 175 scholarships to emerging cooperators in 2013.