News / Blog

2018 future leaders scholarship winners announced
July 5, 2018

The Ontario Dairy Joint Breeds Committee is excited to announce the recipients of
their seventh annual Future Leaders Scholarship. Derrick Knill and Mikayla Ringelberg are the winners of this year’s $1000 scholarships. These are given to young people in the agricultural industry for their involvement, accomplishments and leadership achievements. The winners have begun to take on positions of leadership within various organizations and demonstrated an outstanding commitment and shown potential for future achievement. These future leaders have focused their post-secondary education in the agricultural field as well as actively participate in community activities where they have taken on a leadership role.

Derrick Knill from Bornholm, Ontario, is a junior member of Holstein Canada and Ontario Holsteins. His farm experience includes working at JPC Farms and Ulmar Holsteins in his home county of Perth, where his duties have ranged from hoof trimming, feeding and milking to clipping and caring for show cattle. Derrick participated in Dairy Sen$e this year and is currently working as a Dairy Farmers of Ontario Summer Student at the Ontario Veterinary College. He has been heavily involved in the 4-H program since 2009 and has completed over thirty clubs. Through the 4-H Dairy Club, Derrick discovered his love for dairy cattle. He has been a member of the Perth County TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic Team for the past six years, and in 2017, was a member of Ontario’s 4-H Dairy Judging Team at the World Dairy Expo in Madison. Derrick’s 4-H leader Judy Hall has had the pleasure of seeing Derrick grow through his involvement in 4-H and now considers him a peer. “Derrick is a unique, gifted individual who has managed to achieve a balance between his academic pursuits, 4-H, sports and community that most adults cannot achieve!” Outside of 4-H Derrick is known for his academic achievements and his leadership in community sports. At high school graduation, he was awarded both the Governor
General’s Academic Medal and the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award. Derrick is currently attending University of Guelph where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. His involvement at school includes the OAC Class of 2021 Executive, Male Sports Representative, OAC Judging Club Representative and the 2021 Broncos Hockey Team Captain. Derrick plans to become a Bovine Veterinarian specializing in embryo transfer and dairy cattle genetics. His personal goals include becoming an Official Judge with Holstein Canada.

Mikayla Ringelberg was born and raised at Fennema Holsteins in Troy, Ontario, where she developed a strong passion for agriculture and the dairy industry. As an engaged young individual, Mikayla enjoys volunteering and has gone above and beyond in the attainment of her mandatory volunteer hours for high school, accumulating 625 during her four-year tenure. She has volunteered her time mentoring and assisting junior 4-H club members and helped raise public awareness
about dairy farming through events such as the Rockton Fair and the Wentworth Dairy Producer Tours. Mikayla has completed fifty 4-H clubs to date, ranging from Scrapbooking and Catering to Dairy and Poultry, and has held numerous
administrative positions during her time in 4-H. Some of her accomplishments include serving both as a Youth Leader and Junior Director in Hamilton-Wentworth, taking part in the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic for four years, receiving Ontario Holstein’s Spirit of 4-H Award in 2014, being named Junior Champion Dairy Fitter at the Rockton Fair in 2015 and winning the fair’s 4-H Leadership award that same year. On top of this, Mikayla has exhibited several Grand Champion calves at local fairs and has been named Champion Showperson several times over. Outside the showring, Mikayla is a talented speaker and served as valedictorian for her graduating class at elementary school in 2013. She has won several public speaking competitions, including the Optimist Essay Contest last year and the Canadian Young Speakers
for Agriculture Contest as a junior in 2011. Neighbours and supporters Karen and Murray Hunt (Huntsdale Farms and Wellspring Enterprises) speak highly of Mikayla, describing her as “logical and informed”. “Quiet by nature,” they say, “anyone who spends any time with her will soon learn that she cares and thinks deeply. She shows maturity beyond her years and always looks for ways to make for a better future.” Mikayla is currently attending University of Guelph, majoring in Animal Biology. She hopes to pursue a career in agriculture and become a Large Animal Veterinarian.


Summer 2018