Eastern Mennonite University junior Tiffany Heishman has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative.
An EMU honors student, Heishman is an accounting and business administration double major with a leadership minor. She holds an associate degree from Lord Fairfax Community College, and will graduate from EMU in May 2021 with the 30 extra credit hours necessary for taking the certified public accountant exam. Then, in addition to finding corporate employment, she hopes to open her own business managing farm finances.
A graduate of Strasburg High School, Heishman explored agriculture by participating in 4-H and FFA. She was a member of state-winning FFA soils and parliamentary procedure teams. She served as FFA sentinel, secretary and president, and has held all available 4-H leadership positions, including president and Cloverbud program leader (for children ages 5-7).
She has also served on 4-H and FFA livestock show and sale committees, has mentored younger livestock showmen.
“I always knew because of my passion for livestock that I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture,” she wrote in her grant application. “However, I knew that I didn’t want the traditional agricultural career. Therefore I decided I wanted to become an accountant for farmers.”
EMU, Heishman said, attracted her with its small class sizes and professors who have “amazing dedication to the students.”
“I knew I would get personalized help and a high quality education,” she said. “The most important thing about my experience at EMU is getting to know my professors. All of the professors at EMU are great and I know that I will always be able to go to them for help with my classes and preparing for my future.”
That future may also include helping other young people save for college by teaching them to file their own taxes.
“Many 4-H and FFA members now have to file taxes because when they sell their animals at the county fair, they receive a W-9,” Heishman wrote. “These youth have to spend their profits to pay for an accountant to file taxes; therefore, I plan to lead seminars to teach the youth how to file their own taxes, so they can save their money to buy more livestock and start a college fund.”
She is a member of the Shenandoah County Farm Bureau and St. Stephens Lutheran Church, and a volunteer with the Forestville Ruritans, Shenandoah Valley 4-H and Liberty Brethren Church.
The Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, which employs Heishman’s mother, was founded in 1920 and includes 1,000 dairy farm families.