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January 2007

Students with Dairy Interests Awarded $79K

Miriam Weber Nielsen
Dept. of Animal Science

The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2007. When the Foundation was established in 1957, its founders created a scholarship fund that has grown to over $600,000 through contributions to support scholarships and to honor leaders in the Michigan dairy industry. The industry leaders who have been recognized as Foundation Honorees are identified in a permanent display in Anthony Hall. During the 50 years since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $700,000 in scholarships to more than 350 MSU students with a dairy interest. The Foundation now ranks as the second-largest scholarship program at MSU.

This year, over $79,000 in scholarships was awarded by the Foundation and the Howard Cowles estate to students planning to pursue careers related to the dairy industry.  Scholarships were awarded on the basis of academic merit, extracurricular activities and professional goals.

Freshman Scholarships ($1,500)

Elizabeth Adams, an Ag Tech Dairy Management freshman, grew up on a family dairy farm in Lake City, Michigan. In addition to being an active worker on their farm, Beth has traveled extensively overseas with organizations such as Youth With A Mission and World Advocates, helping to set up reading and writing programs and small farm operations for underprivileged villagers. She plans to eventually become a co-owner of her family’s dairy and also start a heifer raising operation.

Hannah Carruthers of Pinconning, Michigan is a freshman studying Animal Science. Throughout high school, she has been extensively involved in FFA, as well as 4-H, the Arenac County Dairy Club, and the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Hannah plans to go into veterinary medicine as a production animal veterinarian after graduating.

Jordan Drumm, an Animal Science freshman from Homer, Michigan, is planning a career in agriculture. He has worked on dairies and held responsibilities such as feeding calves, cleaning stalls, and milking cows. To further this interest, he has been involved in FFA and 4-H Swine, Dairy, and Poultry clubs. Since coming to MSU, Jordan has joined the Block and Bridle and Dairy Clubs.

Joe Pasch of Weidman, Michigan, is a first year student in Animal Science. He has worked on his home 200-cow dairy where he was in charge of feeding the milking herd daily, as well as performing farm operator duties. Joe plans to head back to the family dairy farm after completing the four year program. He is currently involved in Alpha Gamma Rho and Dairy Club.

Nicole Schaendorf, an Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications freshman, is from Allegan, Michigan. She grew up helping on her family’s 700 cow dairy, working especially with calves within their first ten weeks of life. Nicole hopes to represent the agricultural world in a public relations career with a dairy related company after graduating. She currently participates in FFA, Farm Safety 4 Kids National Youth Network, and Dairy Club.

Bill Shuler of Baroda, Michigan is a freshman in the Ag Tech Dairy Management program. He has worked as the assistant herdsman for Shuler Farms, where he was responsible for milking, feeding cows and calves, formulating rations for show animals, and breeding cows. Upon graduating, Bill plans to return to his home farm and focus on marketing genetics from their herd internationally. He is currently a member of the Dairy Club.

Lynnae Slavik, an Animal Science freshman from Ashley, Michigan, was raised on a small dairy farm. Through involvement with daily farm chores, 4-H, and livestock judging, she has developed a passion for animals and plans to pursue a career in the livestock industry with the hopes of attending veterinary school. Lynnae is active in bible study, Block and Bridle Club, and Dairy Club.

Ag Tech Scholarships ($2,000)

Jake Brindley of Rose City, Michigan, is a freshman in the Ag Tech Dairy Production program. In high school, he participated in FFA and on two varsity sports teams. He has worked as a farm hand, being responsible for chores such as feeding and milking cows. In the future, Jake plans to either own his own dairy or work as a herdsman for one.

Tim Gamble, a Dairy Management sophomore, has worked on his family’s dairy in New Carlisle, Indiana his whole life. His responsibilities there included milking, feeding, and breeding cows, caring for youngstock, and working in the fields. He has also completed a three month internship at a 1,000 cow dairy in Wheatland, California. After graduating, Tim plans to return to his home farm where he will focus on increasing the genetic value and marketability of their cows.

Ashley Messing, a sophomore in the Dairy Management program, hails from a family dairy in Bad Axe, Michigan. She recently completed an assistant herdsman internship at Fernjo Farms in Tulare, California, where she raised Jersey calves, managed breeding stock, managed fresh and sick cows, gave vaccinations, and kept records. Ashley plans to transfer to the 4-year program to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science-Agribusiness Management. After graduating, she eventually would like to return to her family farm.

Adam Preston of Quincy, Michigan, was raised on a family owned dairy farm. He plans to obtain his Dairy Management Ag Tech degree in order to head back to his home farm. Adam participates on the Ag Tech Dairy Judging Team and in the MSU Dairy Club as the Social Chairman.

Greg Thon, a Dairy Management freshman, was not raised on a dairy farm, but worked on one throughout high school. This experience allowed him to fall in love with the industry and want to pursue a career as a dairy farmer. Greg plans to own and manage cows on his own operation one day. Greg participates in Dairy Club and works at the MSU Dairy.  

Dairy Memorial Scholarships ($3,500)

Jesse Chase, a senior in the Agribusiness Management program, grew up on a dairy farm in Hastings, Michigan. In addition to holding many responsibilities on his home farm, he has also completed an internship at Cary Dairy acting as assistant herdsman. Jesse is involved in Farmhouse Fraternity, Dairy Club, and the CANR Student Senate. After graduation, he plans to go into partnership with his father in their family dairy business.

Ted Costigan of Lansing, Michigan developed a love of agriculture at an early age when spending time on his family’s farm. As a Crop and Soil Sciences senior, he intends to work with dairy producers to recommend methods for growing good quality forages after he graduates. Ted is currently president for the Agronomy Club and Promotions Chair for the Dairy Club. He is also a member of Farmhouse Fraternity.

Amy Garrison chose to be an Agricultural Communications major so that she can pursue a career that promotes agriculture through education. A native of Lenawee County, Amy currently participates in Dairy Club, Block and Bridle, Collegiate Farm Bureau as Vice President, and is the CANR Ambassadors Coordinator. She hopes to obtain an internship that allows her to promote awareness about agriculture and dairy farming.

Jessica Geurink of Allendale, Michigan is a junior in the Agribusiness Management program. She has served as president of her 4-H club and is the Michigan Junior Holstein Association President. Last summer, she traveled to Europe with the MSU Dairy Judging program and participated in an international judging contest in Scotland. After graduation, Jessica would like to work as an editor for a dairy publication or in the marketing and communications department for an artificial insemination company.

Joann Greenfield, a senior in Animal Science, is from Annapolis, Maryland. Although she is one generation removed from the farm, she has spent countless hours with her extended family on their dairy farms in Pennsylvania in an attempt to get back to it. She is currently applying to veterinary school and plans to have a career in production animal medicine. In addition to working at the MSU Dairy, Joann spends a great deal of time singing in the MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble.

Tyler Hake, an Agribusiness Management major from Edon, Ohio, was raised on a dairy farm until the age of 5 when his family sold their cows. However, he managed to work part time on a dairy throughout high school where he held responsibilities such as feeding calves, milking, and record keeping. After graduation, he plans on buying a herd of dairy cows and going into business with his father. Currently, Tyler is serving as president for Farmhouse Fraternity and is a member of the Agronomy Club.

Colleen Jackson is the fourth generation in her family to be involved in their Caro, Michigan dairy farm. This past year, she became Michigan’s first Dairy Ambassador and will carry out the responsibilities of this role by representing and promoting the dairy industry throughout the state, as well as serving on the Great Lakes Dairy Conference committee. After graduating with a degree in Animal Science, she plans to secure a job in the industry. She now serves as the Dairy Club secretary and is on the Animal Science Student Advisory Board.

Matthew Jakubik is an Agriscience senior from Whittemore, Michigan. Upon graduation, he plans to obtain a teaching position near his home town so that he can remain involved in his family’s dairy farm and pursue a partnership with his parents. Matt currently lives at the MSU dairy farm where he frequently saves the day by picking up extra shifts, fixing broken equipment, and being on call 24/7. In addition, he participates in Alpha Gamma Rho, Agricultural Education Club, and Dairy Club.

Maria Johnson of Pittsford, Michigan is an Agribusiness Management senior. She plans to combine her love of animals with her desire to be involved in the agribusiness industry by pursuing a career as an animal pharmaceutical sales representative. She works in the MSU Dairy Plant measuring ingredients for cheese and ice cream and also as a research assistant for Pioneer Hi-Bred international. Maria participates in CANR Ambassadors, the Agriculture Economics Undergraduate Policy Committee, and the Dairy Club.

Greta Koebel, a sophomore from a dairy farm in Three Oaks, Michigan, has been extensively involved in FFA as secretary, reporter, and president throughout high school, as well as the Junior Holstein and Jersey Associations. Upon entering college, she joined the Dairy Club, the National Agri-Marketing Association, and the MSU Collegiate Farm Bureau. Greta plans to graduate with a degree in Agribusiness Management and own and operate her own herd of registered dairy cattle.

Alyssa Selesky from Lakeview, Michigan, is an Agribusiness Management/Animal Science junior. She hopes to work for an animal feed sales company after graduating in order to work directly with farmers and help them improve their herds. Alyssa participates in Block and Bridle Club and also volunteers at Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center.

Pieter Serne, an Agribusiness Management major from Lowell, Michigan, first began cultivating his interest in the dairy industry as a young child riding along on his family’s milk routes. During his teen years, he worked at a local dairy and realized that he wanted to work with cows in the future. After obtaining his degree, Pieter hopes to run his own dairy operation and also begin a smaller niche market business such as organic farming.

Kent Thelen, a junior in Dairy Production/Agribusiness Management, plans to one day own and run his parents’ farm in Fowler, Michigan. As a dairy farm worker, he has been responsible for feeding and milking cows, AI, vaccinations, maintenance, and repairs. He is currently a member of Alpha Gamma Rho.

Jennifer Venlet is an Animal Science junior planning to go into large animal veterinary medicine. Although not raised directly on a farm, she was in close proximity to them as a resident of the rural village of Conklin, Michigan. Jennifer became involved with showing cattle in 4-H and spent a great deal of time at a neighboring farm. She is a member of the Pre-veterinary Medical Association and is a Team Manager for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Paul Windemuller of Zeeland Michigan is a sophomore in Agribusiness Management who has wanted to be a farmer since he was old enough to walk. He worked on dairy farms throughout high school and hopes to own or run a dairy farm after graduating. He would also like to take a leadership role in an organization such as the Michigan Farm Bureau to represent dairy farmers in the state. Paul works at the MSU Dairy doing morning chores and also is a member of the Dairy Club.

Glenn and Anne Lake Scholarship

The Glenn and Anne Lake Scholarship covers all tuition and fees for an academic year.  The recipient is Katy McCracken. Katy McCracken is studying Animal Science with a specialization in Agribusiness Management. Hailing from a dairy farm in Carson City, Michigan, she plans to work for a company that provides services to farmers after graduating. In addition, she hopes to continue working with her family to help maintain their farm. Katy serves as President of the Dairy Club and is on the collegiate Dairy Judging Team.

Russel Erickson Scholarship

The Russel Erickson Scholarship of $5,000 is awarded to Mary TenBrink of Coopersville. Mary grew up on a 180-cow dairy farm and plans to return to the farm full time after graduation in May. At MSU, Mary completed the Ag Tech Dairy Management program and an internship on a large dairy farm in California. She also participated on the MSU Dairy Judging Team and earned the opportunity to travel to judging contests in Europe in 2006. Currently, Mary is the president of the MSU Dairy Club and is also a member of the MSU Agronomy Club.

Jack & Betty Barnes International Michigan Dairy Memorial Endowed Scholarship ($1,000)

The Barnes scholarship is provided through an endowment from Jack and Betty Barnes and is given annually to a student interested in a dairy industry career who is participating in an international experience to enhance his or her education.  This year’s recipient was Amy Garrison, who was mentioned above.

Howard Cowles Dairy Scholarships

The Howard Cowles Dairy Scholarships are given annually to students in Animal Science who have attained junior status and demonstrated a strong interest in dairy.  Academic achievement and participation in extracurricular dairy activities such as the MSU Dairy Club, Dairy Challenge, Dairy Associates Program or MSU Dairy Judging are given strong consideration.  The scholarships are provided by revenue from a gift from the estate of Howard E. Cowles, who was a long-time employee of Sealtest Dairy.  This year’s recipients of a $1,000 scholarship was Colleen Jackson, who was mentioned above.

For information on making contributions to honor members of the dairy industry or to support student scholarships, please contact College of Agriculture and Natural Resources External Relations at (517) 355-0284.  To learn more about the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, contact Dr. Miriam Weber Nielsen in the Department of Animal Science (517-432-5443; msw@msu.edu).





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