HARRISBURG, Pa. — Amanda Hamilton of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and Thomas Kaiser of Stratford, Wisconsin were recently awarded scholarships through the Dairy Excellence Foundation’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow (DLT) Program. The students were recognized with the scholarships after completing and passing at least one of the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow certification exams and associated coursework. Both Amanda and Thomas received a $3,000 scholarship to support their academic studies in dairy-related fields.
Amanda Hamilton is a freshman studying biology and psychology at Bridgewater College in Virginia. After spending a summer at her cousin’s dairy farm in Altoona, Amanda started her high school career by getting involved in Cumberland County Dairy Promotion and Cumberland Valley High School FFA. She served on CVHS FFA Milk Quality and Products CDE team where she became more knowledgeable in the dairy industry and became an advocate for the industry. Through the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow courses, Amanda gained valuable knowledge in areas such as herd management and milk quality assurance and management. Her goal is to become a licensed clinical and research psychologist that utilizes animal-assisted interventions to improve the quality of mental health.
“Receiving the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship has been a blessing because it means the hard work has truly paid off. For me, the scholarship is definitely not the end. In fact, it’s a new beginning for me as I begin my career at Bridgewater College,” Amanda said. “The DLT program has impacted me in ways I will never forget, and it’s one of the reasons I strongly believe the curriculum should be implemented across the nation. Learning about the process of farm to table has taught me so much about my distant family’s dairy operation.”
Thomas Kaiser is a freshman studying dairy science at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. Thomas spent his free time as a child at Stueber Farms, a dairy farm owned by his grandfather and uncles. He learned skills such as feeding calves, milking cows, washing robotic milkers, and giving cattle vaccinations while employed on the farm. The Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Program helped Thomas choose to follow a career path to a college education in dairy science. His goal after college is to be a valued member of a team in the dairy industry, such as Lely or DFA, using his knowledge of animal nutrition, genetics, and new technology.
“I appreciate being awarded this scholarship because it will help me pay for my tuition at UW- Platteville. I am majoring in Dairy Science and hope to gain a better understanding of the dairy industry in my college courses,” said Thomas.
The Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program is managed by the Dairy Excellence Foundation and impacts more than 20,000 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.
“These students are bright and optimistic about the future of dairy, and they have excelled in the classroom during their senior year of high school,” said Michelle Shearer, Workforce Development Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “Now college freshmen, they are taking the dairy knowledge they gained through the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow courses and applying it to their career goals. We are eager to see the impact they will make on the industry in the years to come.”
To qualify for the scholarship, students must be enrolled in a college or university beginning in the fall following their graduation from high school. This year’s recipients were selected based on their academic performance, evidence of leadership, character and integrity, and their commitment to pursuing a future career in dairy.
To learn more about the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship program, visit dairyleadersoftomorrow.com or contact Michelle Shearer at email@example.com or 570-768-831. The 2022 scholarship application will be available March 1, 2022.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence