Nine area graduates have a diploma in one hand and a Federated scholarship in the other.

The Federated Rural Electric Trust recently awarded nine $700 scholarships. One scholarship was awarded in each of the six Federated districts, plus three more to the son/daughter of a Federated member for District At-Large where remaining applicants had a second chance to win. These are the same districts used for the co-op’s director elections.

The recipients from each district are listed:

  • District 1: Andrew Madsen, Heron Lake. He graduates from Heron Lake-Okabena High School. Madsen is the son of Michael & Diana.
  • District 2 Kailey Koep, Lakefield. She graduates from Jackson County Central High School. Koep is the daughter of Kayle & Jamie.
  • District 3: Ethan Varilek, Jackson. He graduates from Jackson County Central High School. Varilek is the son of Lennie & Janet.
  • District 4: Dawson Weber, Welcome. He graduates from Martin County West High School. Weber is the son Ken & Vickie.
  • District 5: Karlee Thiesse, Welcome. She graduates from Martin County West High School. Thiesse is the daughter of Brent & Michelle.
  • District 6: Joseph Gerken, Fairmont. He graduates from Fairmont High School. Gerken is the son of Amy Gerken and Edward Gerken.
  • At-Large District : Sarah Harstad, Fairmont. She graduates from Fairmont High School. Harstad is the daughter of Douglas.
  • At-Large District: Conner Snyder, Jackson. He graduates from Jackson County Central High School. Snyder is the son of Todd & Darcy.
  • At-Large District: Sofia Stumpf, Lakefield. She graduates from Jackson County Central High School. Stumpf is the daughter of Jeff & Alison.

39 students completed Federated’s short scholarship application. This is the 17th year that students had to apply.

“The $6,300 worth of scholarships comes from Operation Round Up funds,” said Federated’s Trust Board President Marlys Runge. “This is a charitable giving program where participating Federated members’ electric bills are rounded up to the nearest dollar amount. The extra cents go to a special trust fund administered by an independent Trust Board. In addition, unclaimed capital credits are a part of these scholarships.”

This is the 29th consecutive year that Federated has dedicated money to high school scholarships. This is the 24rd year of Operation Round Up scholarships. They total $115,000.

“Currently, about 80 percent of Federated members participate in Operation Round Up,” Beseke said. “If a Federated member’s electric bill is not rounded up each month and you want to contribute, just call Federated. You will also receive a statement for your yearly contribution, which is tax deductible.”

Last month the Federated Rural Electric Trust awarded $29,134 to local organizations. These Round Up funds were given to fire departments, educational programs and other community service organizations. The next round of funding will be awarded in the fall. The deadline for interested organizations to submit applications is September 27. Call Federated at 507-847-3520 for more information and an application. Ask for Andrea. Otherwise, download the form from Federated’s website at

Federated is a Touchstone Energy cooperative that provides electric service to more than 6,700 members in Jackson and Martin Counties.