HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two high school agriculture teachers were recently each awarded a $1,000 Educator Scholarship through the Dairy Excellence Foundation’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow (DLT) program to fund professional development conferences or workshops. Katherine Mitrowski of Cattaraugus-Little Valley High School in Cattaraugus, New York and Amanda Sturm of Montcalm Area Career Center in Sidney, Michigan received the scholarships for the 2022-23 school year.
“Empowering the next generation of dairy producers starts with support for the educators who are in the classroom and engaging with students every single day,” said Michelle Shearer, Workforce Development Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “That’s why this Educator Scholarship program is so important. Thanks to contributions made to the Dairy Excellence Foundation, these scholarships directly support agriculture teachers who are passionate about expanding their dairy knowledge and passing on what they learn at these trainings to their students.”
Congratulations to these two educators:
Katherine Mitrowski teaches in a small rural school in Cattaraugus, New York, and she is currently re-invigorating the agricultural program after it was closed 10 years ago. The surrounding community offers various agricultural employment opportunities after high school, and Katherine has connections with many local dairy farmers who help give her students hands-on experience. She utilizes the DLT Program to introduce the basics of dairy production and map out several dairy topics that would otherwise be challenging to implement for students.
“Receiving this scholarship is important to me because it helps to free up funds in my budget to allow me to purchase more items for my classroom specifically. I teach six different classes and need a lot of supplies for the variety of content I teach,” Katherine shared. “This scholarship will also assist me in getting more curriculum through trainings to increase rigor in my classroom.”
Amanda Sturm serves approximately 200 students from seven school districts at a career center in rural Michigan. They are the only agriculture program in the county, and she focuses on introducing students to all forms of agriculture through hands-on learning experiences. The DLT curriculum allows her students to deepen their understanding of the dairy industry and receive certifications that can increase their skill levels.
“I have been trying to go to Texas to a veterinarian technician training for several years, and now I will get to go which will give my students more opportunities in the animal industry as they leave my program,” Amanda said. “I am so excited to be selected for this award. I have truly enjoyed teaching my students about dairy with the DLT program.”
The Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program is managed by the Dairy Excellence Foundation and impacts more than 25,000 high school students each school year. The goal of the program is to prepare high school students to work in the dairy industry through classroom instruction, independent studies and virtual learning, on-farm experiences, and scholarship opportunities.
To qualify for the DLT Educator Scholarship, teachers must be registered educators of the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program and have taught the curriculum portion. They must have at least one student who completed and passed the Introductory to Dairy course and at least one of the certificate courses since January 1, 2021.
To learn more about the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship program, visit www.dairyleadersoftomorrow.com or contact Michelle Shearer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-768-8316. The 2023 scholarship application will be available to teachers beginning March 1, 2023.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence