11 deserving students earn scholarships from Dairy Farmers of America

April 1, 2009

Kansas City, Mo. - Eleven outstanding students are one step closer to promising careers in the dairy industry after being awarded scholarships from Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA). Recipients were recognized at the Cooperative’s 11th Annual Meeting, held in Kansas City March 24-25.

This year’s $1,500 scholarship recipients were selected from among applicants in 23 states. The 2009 winners include Brenda Arnold, Drexel, Mo.; Curtis Beidel, Springfield, Penn.; Tyler Boyd, Parrotsville, Tenn.; Amber Ettinger, Kinards, S.C.; Stephanie Heilman, Kittanning, Penn.; Rosemary Liskey, Harrisonburg, Va.; Benjamin Meyer, Linn, Kan.; Megan Schrupp, St. Paul, Minn.; Ashley Sears, South Deerfield, Mass.; Kira Tate, Larsen, Wis.; and Hannah Young, Clifton Springs, N.Y.

“Reviewing this year’s pool of applications was a truly rewarding experience,” said Ed Schoen, DFA board member and chair of the DFA Scholarship Foundation. “These students have remarkable academic backgrounds, but even more so, they have an exemplary passion for the dairy industry. DFA is proud to honor this group of students who will bring great value to the industry in years to come.”

All 11 recipients have strong dairy backgrounds, and each possesses an impressive roster of academic and extracurricular successes. Awardees were selected based on the applicant’s commitment and passion for a career in the dairy industry; extracurricular activities, awards, recognition and work experience; and academic achievement.

Brenda Arnold is a sophomore at the University of Missouri Columbia majoring in animal science. Arnold served as the Area VII 2007-2008 Missouri State FFA vice president, and is currently a member of the Missouri Collegiate FFA Alumni and Collegiate Cattlewomen, as well as serving as president of the Collegiate Farm Bureau. Arnold, whose family owns a DFA member farm, aspires to become a veterinarian and return to her local area as a large animal vet.

Curtis Beidel is working toward his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After starting his own hoof trimming business, Beidel recently returned to school. He is a member of the Food Animal Club at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the Reproduction Club. He also volunteers at W.B. Saul High School in Philadelphia to help underprivileged students with farm animal projects. In addition to his hoof trimming business, Beidel has experience working on DFA member farms.

Tyler Boyd is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University majoring in molecular and cellular biology. Among his extracurricular activities, Boyd has served in Vanderbilt’s student government, as president of the Tennessee Junior Jersey Cattle Club, as a dairy farmer spokesperson for the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association and in his state 4-H Council. As the sixth generation on his family’s DFA member farm, Boyd wants to use his focus in genetics to build on their ability to develop, market and milk quality animals.

Amber Ettinger will be a freshman at Virginia Tech in fall 2009 and will pursue a degree in dairy science. In 2008, Ettinger was the South Carolina Jersey Queen, the South Carolina Junior Achievement Winner and the South Carolina 4-H Ambassador of the Year. Her goal is to become a large animal veterinarian and return to her family’s DFA member farm Will Do Jerseys.

Stephanie Heilman is a junior at Penn State University majoring in animal science. At Penn State, she has been active in the College of Agriculture Student Council, Pre-Vet Club, Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority and the Dairy Nutrition Lab. Heilman plans to attend veterinary school and specialize in dairy medicine.

Rosemary Liskey is currently a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in dairy science. She is active in the Virginia Tech Dairy Club, Virginia Junior Holstein Association, Virginia Young Farm Bureau and many other organizations. Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree, Liskey plans to work toward a master’s degree in agricultural and extension education. In addition to pursuing a future as an FFA instructor, Liskey wants to remain involved with her family’s dairy farm (DFA member Monta Vista Farm) and to increase the number of tours that they provide.

Benjamin Meyer is currently a freshman at Kansas State University, pursuing a major in agricultural economics. At Kansas State, Meyer is active in Agronomy Club and is a member of its Agronomy Judging Team. Since 2005, he has worked at DFA member farm Linn Willow Creek Dairy, where he helps milk the 1,500 cow herd. After graduation, Meyer’s goal is to work his way into management of a dairy herd.

Megan Schrupp is currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, working toward a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine. She is a member of the Production Animal Medicine Club, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, University of Minnesota Mentor Program and Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association. Upon completing her education, Schrupp’s goal is to join a mixed animal practice where she can focus on dairy cattle and work with clients on milk quality, nutrition reproduction and disease management.

Ashley Sears is currently a sophomore at Cornell University working toward a double major in applied economics & management and dairy science. She is active in the American Guernsey Youth Association, Cornell University Dairy Science Club and Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, among other organizations. Her goal is to complete her double major, then apply to law school to focus on agricultural law. Sears’ family operates Bryant Farm, which markets its milk through DFA’s Dairy Marketing Services.

Kira Tate is a junior at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh majoring in biology. Having grown up on a DFA member farm, Tate has a strong interest in genetics. With a degree in biology, her goal is to focus on improving genetic profiles of dairy cattle. Tate’s scholarship is made possible through the George Hanson Scholarship, which comes from the Central Milk Producers Cooperative, a marketing agency in the Upper Midwest.

Hannah Young is a junior at Cornell University majoring in animal science. She has held leadership positions in the New York Junior Holstein Association, 4-H and the Cornell University Dairy Club. In addition to her numerous activities in the dairy industry, Young runs her own Shih Tzu breeding business. After graduation, she is interested in exploring career opportunities in the area of reproduction.

Scholarship sponsor FC Stone also was recognized at DFA’s annual meeting.

Dairy industry supporters are invited to contribute to DFA’s Scholarship Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions can be made payable to the DFA Scholarship Foundation and mailed to Dairy Farmers of America, ATTN: Scholarship Foundation, 10220 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153.

The application period for next year’s scholarship program will open in the fall and close January 15, 2010. For more information, visit www.dfamilk.com/DFAScholarship.