Fact Sheet: 2010 Scholarship Recipients

March 21, 2010

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) recognizes the importance of developing future leaders in the dairy industry, and is committed to investing in their education. Since its inception three years ago, the DFA Scholarship Program has grown to recognize an increasing number of outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the dairy industry.

Selection criteria include a commitment and passion for a career in the dairy industry; extracurricular activities, awards and work experience; and academic achievement. This year, DFA’s scholarship committee identified 12 recipients who each will receive $1,500. The 2010 honorees include:

Ryan Best – Portales, N.M.
Ryan Best is a freshman at New Mexico State University, majoring in agricultural communications. His aunt, uncle and cousin operate DFA member dairies in Portales, N.M. Best recently served as New Mexico’s state FFA president, and has been involved in athletics, 4-H and several community projects. Best plans to combine his production agriculture background and communication skills to help promote the dairy industry’s image to consumers.

Michelle Dirksen – Bryant, Ind.
Michelle Dirksen is a freshman at Purdue University, majoring in agricultural economics. Her parents operate a DFA member farm in her hometown of Bryant, Ind. In addition to being a member of the Purdue Dairy Club, Dirksen has been actively involved in National Honor Society, 4-H, FFA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and numerous community activities. Dirksen hopes to work in nutrition sales, helping provide dairy farmers with efficient and profitable feed.

Katie Donnan – Galway, N.Y.
Katie Donnan is a sophomore at Cornell University, majoring in animal science and agricultural education. Her uncle owns a Dairylea member farm in New York where she has worked for the past nine years. In addition to participating in Cornell’s dairy science club, she has been involved in collegiate 4-H, the New York Jr. Holstein Association and other community activities. Donnan has a passion for working with and educating the public about agriculture.

Nancy Jackson – New Cambria, Mo.
Nancy Jackson is a high school senior who will be attending University of Missouri next fall, pursuing a dual major in animal science and agri-business management. Since 2000, Jackson, her sisters and her mom have partnered with a DFA member to house their Holstein cows. Jackson and her family remain very engaged in raising the heifers, doing daily chores and making decisions about health care, feeding and breeding. After college, Jackson’s goal is to become a manager on a dairy farm, and eventually open her own operation.

Samantha LeFevre – Delta, Utah
Samantha LeFevre is a high school senior who will be attending Utah State University next fall. Her interest in the dairy industry began in fifth grade, when she started showing heifers. More recently, LeFevre received a youth loan through USDA’s Farm Service Agency and used it to purchase a registered Holstein. Her current herd (three animals, with two more on the way) is housed on a DFA member farm. LeFevre plans a career as a large animal veterinarian.

Stephanie Neal – North Canton, Ohio
Stephanie Neal is a junior at Ohio State University, majoring in animal science with a pre-veterinary emphasis. In addition to her academic pursuits, Neal works on a DFA member farm. At Ohio State, Stephanie is involved in the Buckeye Dairy Club, the dairy judging team, the Saddle and Sirloin Club and Towers Agricultural Honorary, among others. Neal plans to become a large animal veterinarian.

Katharine Nye – Delta, Utah
Katharine Nye is a high school senior who will attend college next fall. She plans to major in dairy science and pursue a career in dairy genetics. Nye’s extra-curricular activities include FFA, 4-H, Utah Jr. Holstein Association, National Honor Society and the Utah Farm Bureau. Her parents are DFA members from Delta, Utah.

Jamie Pfaff – Melrose, Wis.
Jamie Pfaff is a high school senior who will be attending University of Wisconsin-River Falls next fall and majoring in dairy science. After college, Pfaff plans to return to her DFA member family farm, where they employ a robotic milking system. In addition to being involved in FFA, 4-H, athletics, band and drama, Pfaff has carried a 4.0 GPA into her senior year.

Megan Rice – Brookings, S.D.
Megan Rice is currently a sophomore at South Dakota State University, majoring in dairy production and dairy manufacturing. She has been actively involved with Collegiate FFA, South Dakota State’s Little International, and the South Dakota State Dairy Club and dairy judging team. At her family’s DFA member farm in Firth, Neb., Rice is instrumental in planning and facilitating Dairy Fun Day, where 3,000 consumers visit to learn about the dairy industry.

Ana Schweer – Watertown, S.D.
Ana Schweer is a sophomore at South Dakota State University, majoring in dairy production and agricultural education. Schweer grew up on a 90-cow dairy in South Dakota and is involved in the dairy club, symphony and string ensemble. In addition, she is the president of the South Dakota Jr. Holstein Association and the 2009 South Dakota Dairy Princess. After college, she plans to pursue a career in agricultural education.

Bill Squire – Hagerman, N.M
Bill Squire is a sophomore at Eastern New Mexico University, where he is studying animal and dairy science with a pre-veterinary emphasis. Squire participates on the university’s track and field team, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. In addition to practicing veterinary medicine, Squire plans to return to his family’s DFA member dairy and explore renewable energy generation.

Justin Squire – Hagerman, N.M
Justin Squire is a sophomore at Eastern New Mexico University, majoring in biology with a pre-med emphasis. In addition to his academic schedule, Squire is a member of the track and field team. He plans to combine a medical degree with his background on a DFA member farm to explore new ways to use dairy products as therapeutic agents.