Now Accepting Applications for Dolores Mertz Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Delores Mertz

Iowa Lakes Community College is now accepting applications for the new Dolores Mertz Memorial Scholarship and over 150 other scholarships. The submission deadline for priority awarding is March 1 for Fall 2023.

The Kossuth County Democratic Party has established the Dolores Mertz Memorial Scholarship in honor of her dedication and hard work for Kossuth County, serving five years as a Kossuth County Supervisor and 22 years as an Iowa State Representative. Her leadership on the state level included two years on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commission and six years on the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. 

“Dolores’ love for our country, our state, and Kossuth County has transcended into one of her core beliefs – that education is at the heart of everything. Without it, one cannot do, one cannot lead, and one cannot survive. Dolores believed all must receive a good education for rural Iowa to be successful,” shared Bob Jennings, Iowa Lakes Community College Trustee for District 7.

Mertz, born and raised in Bancroft, Iowa, graduated from St. John’s High School and attended Briar Cliff College, obtaining an Associate in Arts degree in elementary education. She moved to a farm near Ottosen, Iowa, when she married H.P. “Pete” Mertz, and they raised their seven children there.

In 1983, following her husband’s death after 32 years of marriage, Mertz was appointed to the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors, where she served for five years, before being elected to the Iowa House, representing the 8th District and later the 15th District, where she served 11 terms.

Mertz was the first woman appointed the House Agriculture Chair in 2007, was on the committee for 22 years and served as the Senior Democrat on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittees.

Mertz was an active member of many councils and organizations, including serving as the Superintendent of Expressive Arts for the Kossuth County Fair for over 30 years, the secretary of the Kossuth County Democratic Party for 13 years, Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Farmers Advisory Council with the DNR, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Educational Advisory Council, the Watershed Improvement Board, Saints Peter and Paul Parish in West Bend, 4-H Clubs, FFA, Kossuth County Farm Bureau, Algona Soroptimist Club, Humboldt Business and Professional Women, the Red Hat Ladies Society, and the West Bend Drama Club.

The Dolores Mertz Memorial Scholarship will be a $500 scholarship awarded to two current high school graduates who are residents of Kossuth County. The scholarships will be distributed beginning in Spring 2024 and can be used for any educational expense at any accredited college or university.

To qualify for the scholarship, students must complete the Iowa Lakes Scholarship Application at and include a Democracy essay following the details in the application process.

If interested in donating to the Dolores Mertz Memorial Scholarship, please contact the Iowa Lakes Foundation at 712-362-0491 or email

The Iowa Lakes Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Photo Caption 1: The Kossuth County Democratic Party established the Dolores Mertz Memorial Scholarship in honor of her dedication and hard work. Dolores Mertz, a native of Kossuth County who served the public for 23 years, is pictured.