Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation James E. Schroeder Scholarship Fund
An orchard owner’s chance interaction with Iowa-Grant students plants the seed for an endowed scholarship.
"Jim cared about the future of this local community,” said
Aultman. “He also cared about kids and sought to help them
develop survival skills for their futures.”
hen Jim Schroeder moved from Madison to the Highland area, he thought it was to retire. But Jim’s love of gardening soon led to the cultivation of an apple and plum orchard, then to the creation of a business, The Summer Kitchen, featuring jams and jellies created from
the fruit of the orchard. That led to Jim becoming one of the first and most well-known vendors at the Dane County Farmer’s Market on the Capitol Square and his reputation in Highland as the “Father of the Madison Farmer’s Market.”
One year, weather conditions led Jim to call on area students for help. “After a particularly bad wind storm that destroyed much of the orchard, Jim called the Iowa-Grant Schools to salvage as much of the fruit as was possible,” recalled Dan Aultman, Jim’s business partner for 36 years and the current owner of The Summer Kitchen. “Students from school worked hard to help with the clean-up. Jim was very impressed by their work ethic and behavior which reinforced his belief that if you know the land and have skills to work the land, you can survive.”
Jim, who died in 2011, didn’t forget what the students had done for him. His will provided for a renewable, endowed scholarship for Iowa-Grant students planning to pursue agricultural-related studies.
The first recipient of the James E. Schroeder
Scholarship was named in the spring of 2013. He is Casey Johannesen, son of Eric and Mary (Livingston) Johannesen. Casey will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he will study genetics.
The James E. Schroeder Scholarship stands as a lasting commitment to the land and to the students of the community that helped him.
Dan Aultman presents the first James A. Schroeder scholarship to Casey Johannesen, IGHS Class of 2013.
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4 Giving Back . . . Giving Forward
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