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RBC I The Colorado FFA Foundation announced the formation of the Edward B. Cordes Scholarship fund at The CoBank Center for Agricultural Education, Fort Collins on Jan. 31. Ed Cordes along with his wife Polly Jessen, son Matt Cordes, and daughter Katie Cordes have pledged a transformational gift to the Colorado FFA Foundation to create a scholarship fund which will provide full tuition scholarships to Colorado FFA members attending college or trade school for at least the next 30 years.
Edward B. Cordes grew up in Roggen, Colorado, on a diversified farm. In high school, his agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor, Wayne Ball, had a profound impact on Cordes’ life. Ball played a key role in motivating Ed to complete his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska. Ed eventually started his own successful business, Cordes and Company, became the chairman of the Board of Guaranty Bank and Trust, and served on a number of public and charitable boards. Through all of his travels and business experiences, Ed remembered how impactful his experiences in FFA and his advisor were on his life and how much they contributed to his success. During the last six years Ed has served on the Colorado FFA Foundation board of directors (several as chairman) and has assisted in raising funds to positively impact FFA members all across the state.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the board and we did incredible things for FFA and ag education in Colorado, but this one is very personal. This scholarship is for students that have drive and ambition, but might not be able to attend college or a trade school because of financial constraints. This fund alleviates that burden and will allow FFA members across Colorado to better themselves and better those around them — the very mission that FFA teaches all of its members — just like Mr. Ball did for me. This is in honor of him,” Ed Cordes said.
The scholarship also honors Benny Mendoza, who taught Ed “respect for the dignity of his fellow human beings regardless of race, creed, or economic circumstances.” The scholarship selection criteria contemplate that approximately 50% of scholarship funds will be awarded to qualified students of Latin American descent.
Tom Lipetzky, Chairman of the Colorado FFA Foundation Board of Directors added, “we are honored that the Cordes family has entrusted us with this gift. Ultimately over the next several decades, this scholarship will put at least 30 of our FFA members through college and trade schools on full scholarships. We thank the Ed and his family — this gift will changes lives.”
Agricultural education Instructors and FFA advisors across Colorado are encouraged to nominate students for this scholarship. The first scholar will be awarded in the spring of 2020.
For more information about this scholarship or other work of the Colorado FFA Foundation please contact Don Thorn, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.