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WISCONSIN DELLS - The Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) recognized scholarship recipients during the organization’s annual meeting held on February 1 in conjunction with the Corn/Soy Expo in Wisconsin Dells.

Sixteen high school seniors and college students were awarded a total of over $6,000 in scholarships.

WPA Scholarship

This scholarship is presented each year to high school seniors pursuing further education with an interest in agriculture. Five finalists were selected from the applications received.

The 2018 recipient of the $500 WPA scholarship is Emma Laufenberg, daughter of Dave and Kate Laufenberg, Waunakee. Emma grew up on her family’s dairy and pig farm and has always been involved with the daily care of the animals. After graduating this spring, Emma plans to attend the UW-Madison Farm Industry Short Course and then return back to take on additional responsibilities on her family’s farrow-to-finish pig farm.

The other finalists, listed below, were also recognized and awarded $250 scholarships.

  • Alexis Odermann, daughter of Dan and Kristina Oderman, West Bend
  • Kaylin Gawlik, daughter of Bryan and Andrea Gawlik, Junction City
  • Hailey Schulenberg, daughter of Jack and Julie Schulenberg, Mount Horeb
  • Brandon Strupp, son of Jeffery and Carol Strupp, Hartford

Whitmore Memorial Scholarship

The Whitmore Memorial Scholarship was established as a legacy to the late Rex Whitmore, a master statesman and communicator who served as the first executive director of the Wisconsin Pork Association. Applicants for this scholarship must be a junior or senior at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville or UW-River Falls. Each university selects a candidate to represent their school in the selection of this scholarship.

The $500 scholarship was awarded to Sarah Strathman. Sarah is a junior at UW-Platteville majoring in animal science with a livestock production emphasis. Her interest in the swine industry began on her family’s farm in Brodhead, and quickly grew through 4H and FFA activities. As a UW-Platteville student, she has secured internships and job shadows with swine farms throughout the Midwest and plans to continue working in livestock production after graduation.

In addition, finalists Tiffany Bruhn, a senior majoring in animal science at UW-River Falls and Erica Thomas, a UW-Madison junior majoring in animal science with a business emphasis, were each awarded a $250 scholarship.

Gunderson Memorial Scholarship

The Wisconsin Pork Association, in cooperation with the family of Buell Gunderson, established a scholarship program in 2007 to recognize the many contributions that Buell Gunderson made to the Wisconsin pork industry.

Individuals who have shown considerable dedication and involvement to the pork industry are eligible for this scholarship. Consideration is given to youth who have established their own production herd, been involved on their family operation, or shown specific interest in pork production or livestock judging.

Curtis Diedrich, Hortonville, was selected as the 2018 Gunderson Memorial Scholarship recipient. Curtis began showing pigs in the third grade and his passion for swine quickly grew from that experience. He now has his own sows and finishes about 100 Berkshire pigs each year. He markets the animals locally and through his family’s meat shop. He is currently enrolled in the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course and plans to continue to grow his swine herd after completing the program.

In addition, four other Gunderson Memorial Scholarship finalists were recognized for their involvement in the swine industry: Taylor Daniels, Reedsburg; Kara Hutter, Spring Green; Shelby Veum, Stoughton; and Caitlyn Wileman, Janesville.

Fredrich Memorial Scholarship

New this year, the Fredrich Memorial Scholarship was awarded through funding from the Southeast Wisconsin Pork Producers. This scholarship honors Clarence Fredrich and is offered to students in Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha counties.

Justin Ehrhart, Union Grove and Makalyn Peterson, Walworth, were both awarded $1000 scholarships. Emily Kruse, Elkhorn, received a $750 scholarship. Justin is a high school senior who plans to attend Southwest Technical College in the fall to pursue an agribusiness degree. Makalyn is a UW-Platteville freshman majoring in agriculture education; Emily is also a college freshman and studying agriculture education at UW-River Falls.

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