Deerkop Scholarship Allows St. Maries Student to Pursue Degree at UIdaho
CALS student pursues her dreams thanks to scholarship funds
Sometimes all it takes for a dream to come true is the generosity of others — even from people whom you will never meet.
Elexus Moore, a junior in the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), is able to pursue her dream — a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education — thanks to the Robert and Alvena Deerkop Community Scholarship.
The Deerkop Scholarship is offered to CALS students from the Potlatch, St. Maries and Deary communities who maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The scholarship fund was first awarded in 2015 after the Deerkops established an endowment to support students from the same regions and background as them. The students receive a $3,000 renewable award for four years.
Robert Deerkop attended the U of I in the late 1930’s before joining the U.S. Army in 1940. Both he and Alvena were World War II veterans — Robert served in the Army as a master sergeant in the Pacific Theater and Alvena was a member of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service. The couple married in 1962 and farmed between Palouse, Washington, and Potlatch for 21 years before settling in Harvard to raise Aberdeen Angus cattle. Robert died in 2008 followed by Alvena in 2012.
“I can’t imagine going anywhere else,” Moore said. “If it wasn't for scholarships and people that donate to them I really wouldn't be here. I’m doing really well in my classes because I don't have to worry about the money and I’m so thankful for this scholarship because I really wouldn't be here without it.”
Moore grew up raising Angus cattle on her family farm in St. Maries and is the first member of her family to pursue a four-year degree. She spent summers helping her grandfather on his 60-head Angus beef ranch in Emida and was involved in UI Extension 4-H Youth Development, where she participated in market beef, breeding beef, vet science and leadership programs.
“My favorite thing about working on the farm with my cows is just the handy work that I put in,” Moore said. “I like looking at the brand-new fence and the barns that we built. I also love spending quality time with my family when we go out and feed the animals or have family events such as branding day. The farm brings us closer together because we are all passionate about agriculture.”
Moore tries to be as involved around campus as possible. She is the CALS Student Affairs Council representative for the U of I Student Idaho Cattle Association where she keeps members updated on upcoming events and informed on how well the club is doing. She is also the treasurer for the CALS Block and Bridle Club and is a member of the Sigma Alpha sorority.
Moore plans on taking over her aunt’s farm in St. Maries where she raises Limousin cattle and breeds horses. She also hopes to become an agricultural education teacher and wants to eventually establish an agricultural education program at St. Maries High School to give students in her community opportunities she never had.
“The Deerkop Scholarship is helping me to be here — helping my future,” Moore said. “Without it I wouldn't be having these plans. I actually don't even know where I would be. It’s amazing that I actually get to come here and invest myself in a degree that I love. This program makes me feel like they really care about me and not like I’m just another number.”
Article by Jean Parrella, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Article published in March 2018