GREEN BAY, Wis. — Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative is investing in its membership. Through the dairy cooperative’s annual scholarship program, five young adults will receive $2,000 awards to pursue higher education.
This year’s recipients are Rachel Abel, Thayne Bjelland, Lauren Breunig, Amber Fietzer and Ella Miller.
Abel grew up on her family’s dairy farm, Abel Dairy Farm in Fond du Lac, Wis. She is graduating from Fond du Lac High School and plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to study nursing.
“I am very grateful for this scholarship from Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative,” Abel said.
Bjelland grew up on his family dairy, Brown Star Dairy in Gillett, Wis. He recently graduated from Gillett High School and plans to attend UW-River Falls to study dairy science. He attributes agriculture to teaching him the best lessons of his life.
“Farming is my happy place,” Bjelland said.
Breunig grew up on her family’s dairy farm, Mystic Valley Dairy in Sauk City, Wis. She is graduating from Sauk Prairie High School and plans to attend UW-Madison to study life sciences communication.
“I am extremely grateful to Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative for awarding me this scholarship,” Breunig said. “Growing up in the dairy industry remains the greatest gift my parents gave me, and I am overwhelmed by the support that I received from individuals and companies as I plan to enter the next stage of my life. Thank you again for aiding me in my future endeavors.”
Fietzer grew up on her family dairy farm Fietzer Dairy Farm Inc. in Manawa, Wis. She recently graduated from Little Wolf High School and is planning on attending Concordia University-Wisconsin to major in biomedical sciences in hope of pursuing a career as a geneticist.
“With the support of the Edge scholarship, some of my tuition for my undergrad years of schooling is being paid,” Fietzer said. “I am very thankful and grateful to the Edge scholarship committee for their generosity through this scholarship.
“Personally, I think it is incredible to see cooperatives supporting kids in this way because it helps an individual who has worked hard in their high school years gain financial aid for more education while also promoting agriculture to people or groups that might not have been reached in any other way. A cooperative is a family, and a family supports its members, and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative is a great example of what this support looks like.”
Miller grew up on her family farm, Clear Crest Farms in Lewiston, Minn. She recently completed her first year at UW-Madison majoring in genetics and genomics.
“It means so much to me, and I am deeply humbled and grateful to have all of the support both financially but also knowing that the industry has such strong advocates as the team at Edge that are willing to invest in my future and the future of agriculture,” Miller said.
This is the ninth year Edge has offered scholarships to help finance higher education for the children of its members. Tim Trotter, Edge’s chief executive officer, said the cooperative plans to continue to award scholarships for exceptional dairy-minded students in the years to come.
“As the voice of milk, Edge recognizes the importance of developing future leaders in our dairy community,” Trotter said. “These students demonstrate great potential to be leaders in meeting challenges and sustaining success. We are happy to support them and look forward to seeing the positive difference they will make.”
Students competing for the scholarships were judged on academic achievement, leadership and participation in school and community activities, academic honors, goals and aspirations, recommendations and work experience.
— Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative