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EIU Media Relations

EIU, Lake Land College, Rural King partner to enhance regional educational opportunities


[News Release Copy from Rural King Below]

(Charleston, IL) – Rural King Farm & Home Store is thrilled to announce the launch of its new scholarship program, designed to empower and support aspiring students in pursuit of higher education. This program is part of a larger education initiative which focuses on providing avenues for continued education, growth, and professional development for our associates and in this case, their dependents.

The Rural King Scholarship Program is comprised of scholarship opportunities with two exceptional partners, Eastern Illinois University, and Lake Land College. Both organizations will be offering in-person and online scholarships providing unique educational opportunities to our associates and their dependents who meet the eligibility criteria across all our 130+ locations companywide.

RK Foundation Director, Amy Shafer states, “It’s a privilege to provide educational opportunities to our associates and their families through the Rural King Scholarship Program. Ultimately, it’s because of their dedication to serving our customers that we’re in the position to do this, and we’re excited to walk alongside them in this journey. Rural King has called Mattoon home for over 60 years, and we are very fortunate to have two great institutions, EIU and Lake Land, right here in Coles County. We are confident they will provide a great academic experience to our Rural King family. This program is an investment in the future of our people and our company. It is our hope, that through nurturing their talent, we’re helping to create future leaders who will make meaningful impacts in their communities.”

Eastern Illinois University and Rural King will be offering three types of scholarships: local scholarships, online scholarships, and full-ride scholarships.

“This partnership builds on the longstanding commitment of Rural King and Eastern Illinois University to the region,” said Jay Gatrell, president of Eastern Illinois University. “EIU is proud to have helped educate and train generations of students for Rural King careers, and we’re excited to continue that strong tradition through this innovative new partnership.”  

Those employees who attend Lake Land College will be eligible for scholarships worth up to the full cost of attendance.

“Lake Land College is honored to expand our partnership with Rural King with this new scholarship initiative. This is an incredible opportunity for Rural King employees and their families. We applaud and thank Rural King’s leadership team for their commitment to provide education and training that will undoubtedly develop new generations of local leaders and provide pathways for social mobility and economic growth throughout the region,” Lake Land College President Dr. Josh Bullock said. “We look forward to welcoming Rural King employees and their families to Lake Land College and to assisting them in reaching their goals.”

To apply for scholarships opportunities at either institution, applicants must be a Rural King associate or their dependent who is admitted to the institution of their choice for classes starting in the Fall 2024 semester. For more information about the Rural King Scholarship Program, please visit or

Rural King, formally RK Holdings, LLP, is America’s Farm and Home Store, a General Merchandise Store, providing essentials to the communities we serve. More specifically, we provide a broad range of necessities, essential goods, food, feed, seed and other farm and home products. Rural King planted its roots in Mattoon, Illinois in 1960. Since that time, Rural King has added over 135 stores in a thirteen-state area. The corporate office, distribution center, and flagship store are all located in Mattoon, and the heart of Rural King is in its stores, associates, and customers.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart,
Public Information Coordinator

Booth House
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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