Karl M. Koch (pronounced Cook) was a lifelong resident of East County, and graduated from Elma High School in 1940. While there, he played football, was on the track team, and belonged to FFA. A highlight of his FFA experience was a trip across state via train to attend the State FFA Conference at Washington State College. Karl enjoyed his time at Elma High School and would share stories about those days and his school friendships that lasted a lifetime.
Karl continued the family tradition in agriculture on land that had been settled by his grandfather in 1889. In 1961, Karl took over the farm when his father passed away. Karl raised dairy and beef cattle and harvested timber. He thoroughly enjoyed living on the farm. When Karl was interviewed for a 1989 article in The Daily World, he stated that, “You’re your own boss on the farm. …that fresh air blowing through here – you can’t find that in the city. It’s nice.”
Karl was a 45 year member of the Sharon Grange #800 serving as Grange Master for a number of years.
In recognition of his lifetime work on the family farm, his commitment to the agricultural community in East Grays Harbor County, and his generosity to his community, family, and friends, the family of Karl M. Koch established a scholarship through the Grays Harbor Community Foundation. This scholarship will give preference to an Elma High School graduating senior that is involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) or other Agricultural studies.