Two young adults are getting help from Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative to follow their dreams in agriculture. Edge has awarded $1,000 education scholarships to Hailey Gaedtke and Jordan Pasanen.
Hailey Gaedtke grew up on her family’s farm, Rolling Hills Dairy in Luxemburg, Wisconsin. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she plans to major in agricultural business management. Hailey has led both her 4-H club and FFA chapter as president while also playing volleyball, basketball and softball. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has volunteered at her county’s local youth dairy bootcamp and vacation bible school.
“I am extremely grateful for the support of the Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative scholarship. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor as it will help provide me with the financial support I need to complete my learning at UW-River Falls,” Gaedtke said. “As I further my education in agricultural business, I plan to give back to my community and become a voice for many of the dairy farm families here in Wisconsin. I want to create a renewed passion for agriculture in the state and in my community.”
The second scholarship recipient, Jordan Pasanen, recently graduated from Winter High School in Winter, Wisconsin, and is planning to attend Fox Valley Technical College in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, to study agribusiness, science and technology. He is a member of the National Honor Society and played basketball and baseball. Pasanen has worked for many years on his family’s dairy farm, Pasanen Farms in Exeland. At FVTC, he plans to learn about all aspects of farming from finance to reproduction and nutrition so that he can come home and follow his dream of running his family’s dairy.
“Coming back home to the family farm will be so satisfying,” Pasanen said. “Throughout my life, I have watched my dad work hard every day and find success in farming, growing our dairy. This gave me the drive to do well in school and make sure everything I did was done to the best of my ability.”
This is the seventh year Edge has offered scholarships to help finance higher education for children of its members. Tim Trotter, Edge’s executive director, said the co-op plans to continue the program 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. “Hailey and Jordan demonstrate great potential to be leaders in helping agriculture meet challenges and sustain 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, participation in school and community activities, academic honors, goals and aspirations, recommendations, and work experience.