Two new scholarships available for RBC students

RBC I George C. Wenschhof (1941-2022) and Glenda F. Wenschhof (1949-2011) were ranchers and active members of the community in the Meeker, Colorado area. George was best known for having designed and, with the assistance of skilled professionals, constructing the first private hydroelectric plant on his ranch in Meeker. Glenda was an active member in numerous cattlemen and ladies organizations, as well as both being members of a church. 

While George was the innovator who took charge of the daily operations, Glenda took care of all the back office correspondence and bookkeeping functions. She was credited with keeping things on track until her passing in 2011.

Jaclyn met and married George in 2011 and moved to Meeker, Colorado. With the passing of George in January, 2022, Jaclyn put forth the idea and opportunity to help the students within the area by making available a scholarship for the development of ranch-related vocational skills education.

There are now two separate scholarships available, at $1,000 each, for high school seniors in Rio Blanco County pursuing vocational programs. Applications are available through the high school counselors or at the White River Museum. 

When asked, George once told a group at a hydroelectric conference that he had a CBE degree, that is, “Cowboy Engineering.” That was his way of saying that he was able to accomplish many things by relying on his lifetime of vocational life skills learned through on-the-job training, informal, and hands-on learning. 

George was mechanically gifted and an advocate for vocational skills development in any form. He and Glenda found a shortage of vocational-skilled professionals in the area and very few scholarship opportunities for formal vocational learning for young people today. As a result, they are making this scholarship available for the development of ranch-related skills development for students in Rio Blanco County who wish to attend any accredited institution. 

Some of the “ranch-related” skills qualifying for this funding include, but are not limited to: electrician, plumbing, carpentry, welding, CDL licensure, and mechanics (diesel, gas and e-vehicle). Also included are training programs that enhance the community, such as: HVAC, appliance repair, vet technician, equine/animal husbandry, certified medical technician. 

The scholarship fund is administered by the Rio Blanco County Historical Society.

The application process is as follows: Fill out the application, including written or video responses to the essay questions, and provide two reference letters from non-family members. 

Essay questions can be written or presented in video format. Introduce yourself. Who are you, where are you from, and how would you best describe yourself? Experience. Do you currently have any ranch-related skills experience? If so, explain. Scholarship Role in Your Life. Why are you applying for this scholarship? How do you expect this scholarship and your chosen vocational development to help you in the future? Then what? What are your career aspirations?

Applications and essays must be submitted to the school counselor or to Terri Ruckman-Reed at the Rio Blanco County Historical Society at 565 Park Ave., Meeker, CO 81641, by 5 p.m., March 31, 2022. 

The selection committee will then select applicants for a final interview before the scholarship is awarded. Award will be announced by April 29, 2022 

The selection committee consists of three voting members and one non-voting member who can vote only if one member resigns or is unable to participate in the selection process. 

Q&A

Is the scholarship available to any high school senior living in Rio Blanco even if they don’t attend school in Meeker, CO? Yes. 

Are any students excluded from consideration for this scholarship? Yes. Students who are related to Committee members.

Can the scholarship be used for traditional academic coursework in general education and/or in pursuit of an academic degree outside of those listed such as Business Management, Education, Finance, Nursing, or Computer Science?  No.

Is the scholarship based on high school academic standing? No.

Is the scholarship based on financial need? Somewhat. Financial need is one consideration along with the essay/video and interview.

Is there a formal application process? Yes. 

About the Sponsors

George C. Wenschhof.

George had undiagnosed dyslexia and as such did not do well in school, finding reading and spelling difficult. He was, however, a gifted hands-on learner and sought out individuals who could teach him what he needed to know. Then relying on his mechanical abilities and skills innovated to meet the present needs. 

Prior to becoming a rancher, George owned and operated an excavating business laying cable under the highways, and a commercial knife sharpening business he started in his garage with only a small knife sharpener. He taught himself the business, adapted machinery to provide a better product, and was in demand across the country at major publishing companies, the US Mint and US Postal Service where he modified the cutting machines for self-sticking. He served 40 years in the military in many capacities, including, but not limited to flight mechanic, pilot, and Standards Instruction Pilot (SIP), providing check rides, training, and qualifying helicopter pilots.  He achieved advanced levels of flight and maintenance skills and was maintenance-certified for all models of helicopter and all fixed wing planes up to a 747-cargo plane. He was instrumental in the development and testing of the first night vision goggles and was awarded the Broken Wing award for safely landing a disabled aircraft.

He began ranching at age 58. he partnered for five years with a local rancher who in return taught him how to become a good cattleman.  George sold his knife-sharpening business and home in Pennsylvania and moved to the Meeker area. He acquired the – T – ranch in 2001 where together with Don Hilkey innovated and upgraded the ranch’s overall operations. Together they welded iron fences, gates, and holding pens, installed a 2000’ irrigation pivot with bridgework to cross the ditches, built and finished a concrete headgate with screen filters for the irrigation, and a designed, excavated, and constructed one of the first privately-owned hydroelectric system in the State of Colorado to cover the electrical expenses of the ranch.

Glenda F. Wenschhof

Glenda and George were married for over 40 years until her passing in 2011.  During their marriage they developed several successful businesses thanks to Glenda’s promotional and back-office expertise and abilities; she was the glue that kept everything running smoothly.  While George may have been the one carrying out the company’s frontline activities, Glenda made sure that every detail was taken care of, such as making sure all calls were made, certifications filed, banking and accounting kept current, reports filed, and paychecks were on time. It didn’t take long to realize that she was both a calming and a stabilizing force in their personal relationship and working endeavors. She enjoyed participating in community and church activities and is sorely missed by those who came to know and love her.

Jaclyn M. Wenschhof, Ph.D.

Jaclyn returned to college after her three sons were grown. She went on to earn her Masters and Ph.D. in Education, Community, and Human Resources before moving to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In 2003, she began a neurotherapy practice using best-practices in EEG neurofeedback, EFT, and other psychological and behavioral techniques. Together with her colleague, Jana C. Harr, they specialized in working with individuals with chronic and neurodegenerative conditions including, but not limited to, ADD/ADHD, sleep disorders, depression/anxiety, Parkinson’s, trauma, and head injuries.

In 2011, she met and married George and moved to Meeker, Colorado, commuting to Glenwood Springs daily. She and George noticed the limited availability of skilled vocational professionals as well as the lack of opportunities for the students of the area to get the ranch-related skills needed to be successful within the community.

With the passing of George in January, 2022, Jaclyn put forth the idea and opportunity to help the students within the area by making available a scholarship for the development of ranch-related vocational skills education.


PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times