CALS Students Gain Real World Experience with Deerkop Land Endowment
For nearly five decades, Robert and Alveena Deerkop of Harvard, Idaho, helped families put food on their tables—specifically, Angus certified beef from their Aberdeen cattle. There are few causes more noble than supplying such sustenance. Helping college students achieve their ambitions comes close, though. And the Deerkops, with their endowment legacy, have done that, too. With the sale of their land, the Deerkops endowed scholarships worth $3.2 million to University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) students determined to make a difference in their field.
CALS graduates go on to find solutions to the world’s most critical challenges in order to create and sustain an abundant food and energy supply, a healthy environment and successful families and communities. The Robert and Alveena Scholarship Endowment, which allows students to serve as interns and gain real world experience in their field, furthers this mission.
Molly Sparrow, a UI sophomore from Midvale, majoring in agricultural education, writes grants for the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Dustin Winston, a junior majoring in agribusiness, from Middleton, researches and creates marketing activities for the college. UI junior Maggie Elliot, from Prosser, Washington, studies agricultural science, communication and leadership and hones her communications skills writing feature articles for the UI Extension website and social media channels. These opportunities are all made possible by the Deerkop scholarship.
The state’s land-grant university clearly held a special place in the Deerkops’ hearts. Robert was born and raised in Latah County, and he attended UI in the late 1930s before entering the U.S. Army. Alveena, a public servant in her own right, was a member of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service during World War II. The couple married in 1962 and farmed between Palouse, Washington and Potlatch before settling in the small farming community of Harvard. Robert raised cattle until his death in 2008.
Thanks to the Deerkops’ generosity, UI students will no doubt go on to achieve similar greatness, advancing the health and welfare of people, animals and the environment in the spirit of growing the Vandal family.