The Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee announced that 12 local students have been chosen to receive scholarships through their annual program.
The program recognizes students who are residents of Dane County and pursuing post-secondary educations in an agriculture-related field. Recipients of this year's $1,000 scholarships are Mikayla Bakken, Marshall; Danielle Barman, Marshall; Rachel Hellenbrand, Cross Plains; Anna Hinchley, Cambridge; Grace Anne Ingham, Madison; Brad Jones, Mount Horeb; Kari Moy, Marshall; Jordan Ripp, Waunakee; Paul Tietz, Waunakee; Emma Weisensel, Waunakee; Samantha White, Stoughton; and Jenifer Zimmerman, Deerfield.
Mikayla Bakken, Marshall, currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Platteville majoring in agribusiness. She is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society, Biology Club, and Outdoor Adventure Club and also volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank.
'I am passionate about agriculture and want to continue my life being involved in it,' Bakken said. 'My future goals are to finish my agribusiness degree and find a job where I can help improve agriculture.'
Danielle Barman, Marshall, is a graduate of Marshall High School and will attend UW-River Falls to major in biotechnology or animal science. Barman is an active FFA and 4-H member and shows horses, steers, and pigs at the Dane County Fair.
'I want to make a difference in the world and I think I can have the biggest impact through agriculture,' Barman said. 'I believe that I can make an impact on agriculture whether it's in a lab setting, on a farm or in the field.'
Rachel Hellenbrand, Cross Plains, graduated from Middleton High School in 2015 and is currently majoring in dairy science at UW-Platteville. In college, she is involved with the Pioneer Dairy Club, AgBusiness Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau. She would like to pursue a career as a calf and heifer management consultant.
'I worked very hard over the years to be able to be around dairy animals,' Hellenbrand said. 'I have a very strong passion for agriculture and this has helped me grow into the person that I am.'
Anna Hinchley, Cambridge, is a graduate from McFarland High School and plans to attend UW-Madison to major in dairy science. She is very active in Cambridge 4-H and Cambridge FFA, serving in several leadership roles with those organizations. After graduation, she intends to return to her family's registered Holstein dairy farm.
'Both my parents farm full time,' she said, 'and farming together with them has inspired me to love agriculture, hard work and working outdoors.'
Grace Anne Ingham, Madison, is graduate of Edgewood High School and plans to attend the University of Georgia to major in ecology. She was recognized on the High Honor Roll and received the Academic Excellence Award and Badger Conference Award. She would like to pursue a career in natural resources management or bioenergy.
'I will help farmers run a profitable enterprise while still respecting the planet,' she said. 'There are countless opportunities for the improvement of agriculture so that both the farmer and the environment benefit.'
Brad Jones, Mount Horeb, is a graduate of Mount Horeb High School and will attend Southwest Technical College to major in dairy herd management and accounting. Jones is active in his FFA chapter, serving in several leadership positions, including chapter president. Upon completion of his degree, Jones plans to return to his family's dairy farm.
He said, 'From milking cows with my dad to training and showing my cattle every year at the Dane County Fair, the dairy industry has been a huge part of my life.'
Kari Moy, Marshall, attends UW-Platteville with a major in biology and a pre-vet emphasis. At UW-Platteville, she is a member of the Collegiate FFA Chapter and the Pre-Vet Club. She also studied abroad in South Africa for three weeks to learn about wildlife conservation and veterinary care. Moy plans to become a large animal veterinarian.
'Ever since I was about four years old, I've dreamed of being a veterinarian,' Moy said. 'I plan on specializing in bovine and working on cattle for the rest of my life.'
Jordan Ripp, Waunakee, is a graduate of Waunakee Community High School and plans to attend UW-Madison to major in agribusiness. Ripp has been an FFA member for four years and a 4-H member for 10 years, showing rabbits and beef cattle and serving as a camp counselor. She plans to pursue a career that allows her to promote agriculture.
'Working and living on a farm has opened many opportunities,' Ripp said. 'Having a job at a young age taught me how important it is to work hard and have perseverance.'
Paul Tietz, Waunakee, is a graduate of Waunakee Community High School and plans to attend UW-River Falls to study conservation and sustainable agriculture. Tietz hopes to work with agricultural communities to increase resource conservation, protect water quality and minimize environmental impacts.
'To end the pollution of our lakes, streams and groundwater, the cooperative effort of environmental scientists, ecologists and farmers will be necessary,' he said. 'I aim to help in this effort.'
Emma Weisensel, Waunakee, is a graduate of DeForest High School and plans to attend the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course to major in dairy herd management. She was selected as the 2016 Wisconsin Guernsey Princess and is a member of 4-H and FFA. She would like to have her own herd of dairy cattle and work as a dairy consultant.
'Agriculture has been in my life since I can remember,' Weisensel said. 'I have decided on a career in agriculture because I love the fact that I am helping feed the world.'
Samantha White, Stoughton, is a graduate from Stoughton High School and plans to attend UW-Platteville to major in agricultural education. She was elected president of both the Stoughton FFA Chapter and the Rutland 4-H Club. White plans to become a high school agriculture teacher and continue growing her sheep flock.
'I have chosen a career in agriculture because I am extremely passionate about the agriculture industry,' White said. 'By becoming an agriculture teacher, I can share my passion with others.'
Jenifer Zimmerman, Deerfield, is a graduate of Marshall High School and plans to attend the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course to earn a dairy farm management certificate. Zimmerman would like to eventually take over her family's dairy farm.
She said, 'I have selected a career in agriculture because growing up on a dairy farm has taught me many life lessons and has encouraged me to continue my career in the industry I love.'
'We are proud to help support these students through our scholarship program,' said Pat O'Brien, president of the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee. 'These students will become the next generation of leaders in our industry and their talents will continue to move agriculture forward.'
Students will be recognized for their achievements on Saturday, June 11, at the upcoming 38th Annual Dane County Breakfast on the Farm. This year's event is hosted by Jason Ihm at Hi-Way Holstein Ranch (10436 County Road ID, Blue Mounds). Breakfast will be served from 7 to 11:30 a.m.. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for kids ages 3 to 11, and free for kids 2 and younger.
Organized by the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee, Breakfast on the Farm will also include live music, guest speakers, horse-drawn wagon rides, and educational displays and activities. Bucky Badger and Maynard of Mallard's Baseball will make special appearances.
The Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee promotes the dairy industry and consumption of dairy products by sponsoring dairy education in school programs and local dairy education events, such as Cows on the Concourse and Breakfast on the Farm. To learn more, visit www.danecountydairy.com.