For Immediate Release
Robert Wellington,ext. 247
or Doug DiMento, ext. 276
Young farmers receive $1,000 Scholarships from Agri-Mark
Andover, Mass. - Jennifer King of Mapleview Farm in Madrid, N.Y., was one of the winners of a $1,000 college scholarship from the Agri-Mark Young Cooperator (YC) Program.
In order to provide financial assistance to their farm family owners, Agri-Mark offers 10 post-secondary education scholarships of $1,000 each. Members of our farm families are encouraged to apply and are judged based on their community activities, school activities, financial need, dairy activities and career objective. The applications are judged by the three Young Cooperator (YC) Program officers and three members of the co-op’s Board of Directors.
The Agri-Mark YC Program serves as an informational and educational branch of the cooperative. The program provides young members with the information and knowledge they need to understand milk marketing and the cooperative's operation and structure. The YC Program serves as a vital program for Agri-Mark by ensuring that there are engaged, knowledgeable and well-informed members to lead our cooperative into the future. In addition to learning about the cooperative, YCs promote the dairy industry and the Cabot and McCadam brands that they own through social media, community programs, in-store sampling and promotional events.
“We are pleased to be awarding these scholarships to deserving young farmers,” says Neal Rea, a dairy farmer from Cambridge, N.Y., who serves as Agri-Mark’s Chairman of the Board. “We hope that several of these young people will be future leaders of our cooperative and the Northeast dairy industry in the future.”
This year, applicants were also competing to win the first-ever Robert A. Jacquier Scholarship Award, which was designated to be awarded to the top scoring applicant and comes with an additional $1,000. Jennifer is also this year’s top scorer and first-ever Robert A. Jacquier Memorial Scholarship Award Winner! The scholarship was named in honor of Robert Jacquier of Laurelbrook Farm in East Canaan, Conn., who passed away on November 20, 2014 at the age of 85. He was beloved in his community and a cherished friend to many within the cooperative, his community and the dairy industry. Robert was a long-time Director and Treasurer of Agri-Mark and was very actively involved with his local 4-H chapter. The Robert Jacquier Memorial Scholarship was chosen as a way to honor the time he dedicated to developing future generations of farmers.
Jennifer graduated from Madrid Waddington High School this summer and is attending Cornell University to study Animal Science this fall. Jennifer submitted an outstanding application that included being a fixture on her school’s High Honor Roll. She was also her Class Secretary, a member of the National Honor Society and involved in Drama Club, Gardening Club, FFA, Volleyball, Basketball and Track. She is very involved in her community through 4-H and the St. Lawrence Dairy Princess Program. Jennifer is looking forward to Cornell and hoping to stay involved with agriculture when she enters the workforce.
This was an especially challenging year for both candidates and judges. In addition to having many outstanding applications, the number of applicants jumped from 11 in 2013 and 17 in 2014 all the way to 32 this year, leaving many deserving candidates to try their luck again next year. In the end, there was also a tie for the last scholarship, so one additional scholarship was awarded for 2015, bringing the total to 11. Below are the 2015 Agri-Mark Scholarship winners:
Jennifer King Mapleview Dairy, Madrid, N.Y.
Taylor Buell Rock Maple Farm, Eastford, Conn.
Alexa Kayhart Kayhart Brothers, LLC, Addison, Vt.
Casey Porter Porterdale Farms, Watertown, N.Y.
Rachael Burt TBR Acres, Bridport, Vt.
Blake Smith Cushman Farm, N. Franklin, Conn.
Harley Hancock Windy-Hollow Holsteins, Carthage, N.Y.
Ashley Howlett Champlainside Farm, Bridport, Vt.
Erika Gogis Dellavale Farm, Pattersonville, N.Y.
Emily Chittenden Dutch Hollow Farm, Schodack Landing, N.Y.
Jeffrey Weeks II Weeks Farm, Mohawk, N.Y.
Agri-Mark, the premier dairy cooperative in the Northeast, had $1.1 billion in 2014 sales and markets more than 336 million gallons of farm fresh milk each year for 1,200 dairy farm families in New England and New York. The cooperative is headquartered in Andover, Mass., has been marketing milk for dairy farmers since 1913, and actively represents their legislative interests in the Northeast and in Washington, D.C.
Agri-Mark farmers own the award-winning Cabot brand of Vermont Cheddar, butter and other dairy products in addition to the McCadam brand of New York Cheddar, Pepper Jack and other cheeses. Agri-Mark has also invested in operations to manufacture and market valuable whey proteins globally while also marketing fresh fluid milk from its local farm families to the region's largest dairy processors. For more information about Agri-Mark, visit our web site at www.agrimark.coop.
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