2018 Scholarship Spotlight: A Meeting of Both Worlds

Shane DeWit says that he’s always been interested in all things agricultural. Growing up, this included helping his grandfather and uncle on their farm in Hawarden, Iowa, where they raised corn and beans, as well as hogs. At the same time, he watched his dad work on trucks, the family cars and four wheelers and liked helping him out as well.

So when his ag teacher at high school spoke about the diesel mechanic program, Shane thought it would be a good meeting of both worlds: agriculture and machines. “I’ve always liked helping with the field work and livestock,” he says “and I’ve always been interested in engines and how things work.”

It’s also his desire and strong ties to the local ag community that appealed to Kevin Eppinga, business manager at Town & Country Implement in Rock Valley, Iowa, where Shane is currently employed. “He was involved in the ag program in his high school, FFA and various jobs throughout high school that have given him good experience for a career as a diesel service technician,” he says.

Study and Work

Shane is currently studying diesel technology at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Iowa. He likes that this two-year program combines classroom work with time spent in the shop working on different engines and transmissions. In addition, he has continued working for the dealership and has been doing “outstanding work,” says Eppinga.

The scholarship he received from the Equipment Dealers Foundation and that was matched by the dealership was “a really good blessing,” Shane says. “It helps pay for a lot of school, and I’ll work as hard as I can to succeed in all I do.” He adds that his parents are also proud of what he has accomplished and the scholarship he’s received.

As he looks forward to completing school and working full time, he’s got a pretty clear picture of what that looks like. “I really want to work on the big stuff,” he says, “as it allows me to stay on the agricultural side of things.”

Shane also looks forward to being challenged in his career. “The hard part is all the up-and-coming electronics—understanding how one part works the other,” he says. But he isn’t daunted and feels that others should consider this profession as well. “I think it’s a good thing to have local dealers involved in getting younger people into these jobs so they can help people in the communities,” he adds.

About the Scholarship

The EDF was established in 1988 to provide scholarship funding to help meet the industry’s needs for trained individuals. EDF also provides temporary assistance for dealerships and its employees affected by natural disasters. Learn more about EDF here.