The Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee is proud to support five local students through its scholarship program. The scholarship program recognizes students who are residents of Dane County and pursuing post-secondary educations with an agricultural emphasis. Recipients of this year's $1,000 scholarships are Mikaela Breunig, Waunakee; Cassandra Endres, Waunakee; Lindsey Hellenbrand, Cross Plains; Dean Helt, Dane; and Chad Landes, Dane.
Mikaela Breunig, Waunakee, is the daughter of Tom Breunig and Valerie Johnson. She graduated from Waunakee Community High School in 2012 and recently completed her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is majoring in plant pathology. She is active in the UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau and Association of Women in Agriculture. Breunig also volunteers with the Ag in the Classroom program and the Dane County Breakfast on the Farm. She plans to pursue a research career to find new ways to decrease plant diseases and increase production efficiency. "I want to help agriculture through science," Breunig said, "researching issues that will help farmers around the globe solve their problems."
Cassandra Endres, Waunakee, is the daughter of Steve and Kathy Endres. She graduated from Waunakee Community High School in 2011 and is currently a student at UW-Madison, where she is double-majoring in dairy science and life sciences communication. Endres is a member of the UW-Madison Dairy Judging Team and participates in the Dane County Junior Holstein Dairy Quiz Bowl and Dairy Jeopardy. She also volunteers as a youth dairy leader for the Waunakee Whirlwinds 4-H Club. Upon graduation, Endres hopes to work for a dairy genetics company and market elite genetics to dairy farmers. "I am positive that I will spend my lifetime working in agriculture," Endres said.
Lindsey Hellenbrand, Cross Plains, is the daughter of Robert and Angela Hellenbrand. She graduated from Middleton High School last year and attends UW-Madison with a double-major in dairy science and life sciences communication. Hellenbrand is an active member of the UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau, Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club. Although she did not grow up on a farm, her participation in 4-H fueled her passion for agriculture. Hellenbrand is considering enrollment in veterinary school to become a large animal veterinarian. Hellenbrand said, "I have selected a career in agriculture because of the passion I have grown for the dairy and agriculture industry."
Dean Helt, Dane, is the son of Dale and Diane Helt. He recently graduated from Waunakee Community High School and will attend Illinois State University to pursue a degree in agribusiness. In high school, Helt was an FFA member, played football and wrote for the school newspaper. He is also actively involved in his family's dairy farm, where he milks cows, feeds calves and assists with fieldwork. He hopes to return to the farm upon graduation and would like to focus on machinery maintenance and crop production. "I look to continue being a role model for youth by showing it's good to have a balance between work, your school and your community," Helt said.
Chad Landes, Dane, is the son of Sam and Chris Landes. He graduated from Waunakee Community High School and currently attends UW-Platteville with a major in animal science. In college, Landes serves as an ag ambassador and is a member of the UW-Platteville Dairy Club. He also works at the university dairy farm. He plans to become a large animal veterinarian and would like to eventually own his own practice. Landes said, "I want to get up every morning and do my job to better the health of the animals that are the backbone of our economy."
"We are proud to help support these students through our scholarship program," said Pat O'Brien, president of the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee and a Dane County dairy farmer. "These students will become the next generation of leaders in our industry and their talents will continue to move agriculture forward."
Students will be recognized for their achievements on Sat., June 8 at the upcoming 35th Annual Dane County Breakfast on the Farm. This year's event is hosted by the Maier family of White Gold Dairy in Waunakee (6200 Maier Road). Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, ice cream, milk and coffee. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for kids ages 2 to 11, and free for kids 2 and younger. Organized by the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee, Breakfast on the Farm will also include live music, guest speakers, horse-drawn wagon rides, and educational displays and activities. Special appearances include up-and-coming country music star James Wesley, Bucky Badger and the Dane County Fairest of the Fair.
The Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee promotes the dairy industry and consumption of dairy products by sponsoring dairy education in school programs and local dairy education events, such as Cows on the Concourse and Breakfast on the Farm. To learn more, visit www.danecountydairy.com.