Two more Eastern Washington seniors have joined the ranks of Washington Wheat Ambassadors. Tessa Jantz of Ritzville and Nicholas Schultheis of Colton were selected as the 2017 ambassadors after an application process that included a short video and a presentation at the 2016 Tri-State Grain Growers Convention, where scholarships funded by the Washington Wheat Foundation were awarded. Schultheis received $2,500 while Jantz received $2,000. The new ambassadors will represent Washington wheat farmers at various civic and community events, as well as participate in the Washington Association of Wheat Grower’s (WAWG) annual advocacy trip to Olympia in early 2017.
Schultheis is the son of Greg and Kim Schultheis, and during harvest and into fall, he can found working on his family’s fifth-generation wheat farm. He heard about the wheat ambassador program from a family member and thought it would be a great experience, especially since his future plans include a career within the agricultural field.
“This will be a good experience in understanding what WAWG does,” he said, adding that through the program, he hopes to begin building strong connections within the wheat industry.
Schultheis is very active in school and community activities. He belongs to several groups at Colton High School in Colton, including ASB, the National Honor Society and FFA and participates in basketball and baseball. Schultheis plans on attending Oregon State University or Washington State University to study ag business management and communications.
Jantz is the daughter of Donna Koch and Steve Jantz. She has maintained a strong GPA throughout her time at Ritzville High School and has been active in numerous school and community activities, including volleyball, basketball, golf and dance. During harvest, Jantz can usually be found driving combines for AK Farms in Ritzville.
Jantz said she’s known about the ambassador program for several years, and with both sides of her family involved in wheat farming, she always felt it would be a good fit for her. Through the experience, she’s hoping to educate people who are unaware of the wheat industry and show them where food comes from.
“I think there’s a general concept (of where food comes from), but not many people are aware of what the actual process is and what farmers and ranchers do in Eastern Washington,” she explained. “I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be part of the wheat ambassador program.”
Besides her school sports activities, Jantz also serves as the ASB vice president and represents her community as the Distinguished Young Woman of Ritzville. She is also very active in FFA, competing at the national level in Soil Evaluation and Agronomy. Jantz plans on entering the nursing field, specializing in pediatrics with a focus on nutrition.