Second annual direct member scholarship winners announced

Three students receive scholarships and plan to pursue STEM careers

Member Scholarship Winner Haley Fernandes

It is our second year sponsoring the Direct Member Scholarship -- a scholarship that gives $5,000 scholarships to bright, incoming college freshman who are either children or grandchildren of our direct (Class B and D) producer members. Agriculture is a field of innovation, technology and science -- and these passionate students are eager to prove it.

As a farmer-owned cooperative that operates a farm-to-fork approach in crops, dairy, feed and sustainability, encouraging the next generation to share the story of ag is important. And as shown through the strong applications this year, kids who have a direct connection to agriculture are passionate about not only sharing their stories but also continuing to contribute to the industry no matter where their career takes them.

Thank you to all who dedicated time and passion to submitting applications this year – it was a difficult decision to make.

2018 Direct Member Scholarship Winners:

Yvonne Longenecker: Penn State University (affiliated with Penn England LLC)

Yvonne Longenecker hails from Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, and plans to study Food Science at Penn State. As a student leader, she was Vice-President of her high school’s National Honor Society and president of Central Cove FFA. She also was inducted as the Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess, a leadership and public figure role in her state.

“I plan to be an outspoken "AGvocate" for the dairy industry. I want to get dairy back into the consumer's grocery cart by developing new dairy products to satisfy the tastes of all consumers. As of now, I do not know what my future job title may be, but I am certain that whatever I do, it will benefit the dairy industry,” says Yvonne.

Hayley Fernandes: California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (affiliated with Legacy Ranches)

Hayley Fernandes is planning to study Animal Science with a dairy concentration. In addition to helping on the family farm, Fernandes has been very active in the Tulare FFA chapter – from speaking contests to leadership involvement to community service. Her goals are to become an agriculture lobbyist after law school.

“I look forward to making an impact and contributing to the progress of the agriculture industry. In the future, I will likely consider running for state and hopefully even national office, to serve my community, and again provide a louder voice for agriculture in politics,” says Hayley.

Anna Vold: Wellesley College in Massachusetts (affiliated with Dorrich Dairy)

Anna Vold is from Glenwood, Minnesota, and plans to study environmental science. She has been involved with 4-H for nine years, holding numerous leadership positions. She has also been involved in Business Professionals of America, serving as secretary of the local chapter, and also has been involved with National Honor Society.

“With my agriculture background and other experiences, I have grown to appreciate all kinds of plants- crops, flowers, grasses and common vegetables. With this, other focuses of mine include growing sustainable food and limiting food waste,” says Anna.

Remember for next year

Applications will open Jan. 15, 2019 and are due by March 15, 2019.

All students who are entering their first year of college or University who are connected to direct producer members are eligible. Applications are available in the Community Involvement section of the Members home page.