News / Blog

“Future Leaders” Scholarship announced by Select Sires
April 10, 2013

Today’s youth are the agricultural leaders of tomorrow. Minnesota Select Sires is continuing its tradition of supporting the future of the local dairy industry by awarding scholarships to students pursuing agricultural careers. Six deserving students were selected as winners of the $500 scholarships this year. “As always, we had a very strong group of applicants. We are humbled by the strength of the youth originating in Minnesota and North Dakota thanks to the families that are part of this cooperative,” stated Joel Ebnet, Minnesota Select Sires Board President. “We are proud to be able to recognize students from the area with strong dairy career interests who are already distinguishing themselves as leaders in our industry.”

Minnesota Select Sires General Manager, Chris Sigurdson comments, “This scholarship program is one part of our effort to be a foundational supporter of the local dairy industry. The program has allowed us to get a great sense of the impact our leaders of tomorrow are already having on our industry. Being responsive to our members’ needs is one of the fundamental goals of our cooperative, and helping their children achieve their educational pursuits has been well received.”

This year’s winners are: Heidi Hintz, daughter of Robert and Debra Hintz, Flasher, ND; Charlie Dicke, son of Lyle and Shannon Dicke, Goodhue, MN; Aly Schwartau, daughter of Jane and David Schwartau, Red Wing, MN; Michael Schmitt, son of Mark and Natalie Schmitt, Rice, MN; Jacob Sjostrom, son of Steve and Deb Sjostrom, Lafayette, MN; Kelsey Mussman, daughter of Mike and Julie Mussman, Claremont, MN.

Qualifying candidates must be a family member of a Minnesota Select Sires cooperative member in good standing, and must be completing at least the first semester of the second year in a two or four year program. Applicants need to submit an application, grade transcripts, and a written essay. In a blinded approach to judging, the selection committee evaluates 1) dairy industry pursuits, 2) academic achievement, 3) active involvement in activities aligned with support of the dairy industry.

If you or someone you know is interested in next year’s scholarship, applications are due October 31, 2013. For more information, contact Minnesota Select Sires at 800-795-1233.

Based in St. Cloud, MN; Minnesota Select Sires Inc., is part of North America’s largest A.I. organization which is comprised of 10 farmer-owned and –controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers in Minnesota and North Dakota with North America’s best genetics tailored for individual production systems at a reasonable price.

Following is a synopsis of the Minnesota Select Sires “Future Leaders” scholarship winners:

An avid dairy farmer advocate, Heidi Hintz is attending Dickinson State University with a major in Communications and a minor in Agri-Business and Leadership. She grew up on her family’s 135 cow dairy and is now the proud owner of 10 dairy heifers and their calves as of this summer. She has been very active in the community and dairy industry including serving as the President of the Dickinson State University Collegiate 4-H Club and a member of the DSU Agriculture Club. Upon graduation, her intent is to work in agricultural media to share “a positive image of our wonderful industry and convey that image to the public.”

Charlie Dicke is a passionate young dairy farmer. In addition to growing up and helping on a 180 cow dairy farm, he also found the time to be strongly involved with the community at large. He was especially active in his local 4-H club and FFA. Going off to the University of Wisconsin in Madison has allowed Charlie to network with other farmers and to learn many new techniques to bring back and improve his own family farm. After college he plans to stay involved with the family farm and invest in more land and technology while remaining fiscally responsible.

After earning her degree in Animal Science – Dairy Production, Aly Schwartau is looking forward to becoming a part of the dairy industry, to give back and help strengthen the industry that helped raise her. Already very active in the industry, some of her interests include showing cattle, volunteering with FFA and advocating for the dairy industry as a Goodhue County Dairy Princess. Through her coursework and activities, she is expanding her knowledge to become a well-rounded, educated and hardworking member of the workforce, hoping to pursue a career in promotions or marketing, before returning home to the family dairy farm.

There was never a moment of indecision or hesitation when Michael Schmitt decided to attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. While pursuing a degree in Animal Science – Dairy Production with a minor in Applied Economics, he is also very involved in the Gopher Dairy Club, FarmHouse Fraternity and more. Growing up on his small family farm, Michael learned the importance of responsibility and dedication. He was very active in the reproductive management of the animals on the farm and now owns 11 of his own animals. His passion is in the genetics behind the matings and he enjoys determining a good mating to fix any flaws of certain animals. After completing his degree, he would like to work in the agricultural industry for a few years before returning to the home operation.

Jacob Sjostrom has always had a dream of continuing to work on his family dairy farm and to gradually take on a greater share of the partnership. As he completes his associate’s degree this spring in Dairy Production at South Central College, he is still determining if his next step will be continuing his education, looking for work, assisting with the family dairy operation or a combination of each. One thing he does know is that even if dairy or crop farming doesn’t work out, he will have many opportunities to share his passion for agriculture with others. He is very involved in organizations including FFA, 4H and the Junior Holstein Association. Those experiences combined with his degree in Dairy Production will serve him well in pursuing his career goals.

Agriculture has been a large part of Kelsey Mussman’s life growing up. From helping on the family dairy farm to serving as a Princess Kay finalist or State FFA Officer, she has always been very involved in an industry that intrigues her. This led her to attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she is majoring in Agriculture Education. She has had a dream of working for the National Holstein Association and is striving to learn more about becoming a great leader through her diversified coursework and the many opportunities she has at the U of M including the Gopher Dairy Club, Collegiate Agri-Woman and more.

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