Beginning in 1971, the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) has annually supported dairy education by sponsoring scholarships for members, their children and employees enrolled at Michigan State University and in 1999, MMPA added a scholarship for members or their children attending Purdue University.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, MMPA awarded nine scholarships, totaling over $20,000. The scholarship recipients were honored and introduced to MMPA members at a member meeting on Nov. 20 in East Lansing, Michigan.
The scholarship fund aims to assist young students pursuing a career in the dairy industry. Scholarships are awarded based on academics, involvement in the dairy industry and letters of recommendation.
“Supporting young people to pursue careers in agriculture, specifically dairy careers, is important to the future of our industry,” says Ken Nobis, St. Johns dairy farmer and MMPA president. “MMPA invests in scholarship and leadership programs to help students explore different facets of the dairy industry and find a career that suits them, therefore, strengthening the dairy sector of agriculture.”
The MSU scholarships available are for students enrolled in the Dairy Management Program. According to the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology, the program delivers innovative, educational programs that develop career-ready graduates through intensive, practical learning and skill enhancement. Students in the dairy management program, advised by Dr. Joe Domecq, undergo a two-year, hands-on training program for careers in the dairy industry. A key component of the program is the completion of an internship at a dairy farm different than the student’s home farm.
In addition to the MSU Scholarships, MMPA also awards one scholarship to a member or a child of a member who is a student at Purdue University College of Agriculture. Moving forward, MMPA will add a similar scholarship at The Ohio State University.
Scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 academic year are due in September for the MSU scholarships. Purdue scholarship applications were due Jan. 1 for freshmen students and are due Feb. 1 for current students. In continuation of MMPA’s efforts to support youth development and education, MMPA is a supporter of the Michigan Dairy Ambassador Scholarship and Leadership program and the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation.
MSU Second-Year Scholarships
- Jacob Arens, Westphalia, MI
- Gerrit Baker, Byron Center, MI
- Adam Wiles, Middleton, MI
- Nolan Wieber, Fowler, MI
MSU First-Year Scholarships
- Wyatt Lamb, Jeddo, MI
MSU First Year Employee Scholarship
- Shania Drakes, Pigeon, MI
- Olivia Walker, Lapeer, MI
- Adam Jones, Mason, MI
Purdue University Scholarship
· Josh Perkins, LaGrange, Indiana
The Michigan Milk Producers Association–established in 1916–is a member-owned and operated milk marketing cooperative and dairy processor serving approximately 1,600 dairy farmers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. In addition to a cheese plant in Indiana, MMPA operates two SQF Level 3 dairy ingredient plants in Michigan, producing butter, nonfat dry milk powder, condensed skim milk, cream and whole milk powder.