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Dairy Excellence Foundation awards $6,000 in scholarships


Two high school graduates from Pennsylvania have been awarded $3,000 each by the Dairy Excellence Foundation’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Program: Madelynn Hoffman and Calvin Dechow. Both students plan to pursue academic studies in related fields and completed and passed at least one of the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow certification exams and associated coursework during their high school careers.

“These students not only excel in the classroom, but their passion for the dairy industry is unwavering. From their years of experience on their families’ dairy farms to the large number of hours they have invested into dairy judging and showmanship, these students already have an active role in the Pennsylvania dairy industry,” said Michelle Shearer, Workforce Development Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “Now college freshmen, they are expanding on the knowledge they gained throughout their high school Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow courses and applying it to their career goals. We can’t wait to see the imprint they continue to make on the industry in the very near future.”

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients: 

Madelynn Hoffman, Cornell University

Image courtesy of the Center for Dairy Excellence

Hoffman grew up on her family’s 70-cow robotic dairy farm in Lancaster County, PA. She gained hands-on experience with calf care, cow comfort, and reproductive and herd health management while assisting with the farm’s breeding program. Hoffman actively participated in her high school’s dairy bowl team, placing first in many public speaking contests where she spoke on agritourism and consumer connection. Hoffman’s interests lie in dairy reproduction and genetics – she hopes to pursue a career with a veterinary clinic or genetics company. 

“I am incredibly honored to be a DLT student scholarship recipient. Thank you to the Dairy Excellence Foundation for providing this scholarship to support me along with many other young dairy enthusiasts. I have come to appreciate not only the financial support I have received from the Foundation but also the academic lessons and exploration experiences that are provided to Pennsylvania dairy youth,” Madelynn said.

Calvin Dechow, Pennsylvania State University

Image courtesy of the Center for Dairy Excellence

Dechos grew up in Centre County, PA where he spent much of his free time on his grandfather’s dairy farm in New York. Preparing animals for livestock shows and maintaining records of his herd helped foster his interest in the dairy industry. Dechow competed in several dairy judging competitions through 4-H and FFA, as well as competing with his heifers in the show ring. The Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow Program helped Calvin expand his interest in dairy genetics and financial management. He plans to work for a dairy genetics company or to continue his education in veterinary medicine in the future. 

“Receiving the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship is an amazing honor. Dairy has always been a passion of mine, and with the scholarship, I’ll be able to invest in my future and someday be an asset to the dairy industry,” said Calvin.

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 program aims 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 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 the website here. The 2023 scholarship application will be available on March 1, 2023.


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