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“This is the seventh year Lallemand Animal Nutrition awarded Forward scholarships. Since then, we’ve welcomed many of these talented students into the industry as they’ve graduated,” says Mike Steilen, Director of Marketing for Lallemand Animal Nutrition, North America. “Every year, our committee is more impressed by the talent, dedication and determination of these applicants. The winners are all rising stars, and we look forward to their contribution to agriculture and food production as they continue their career journeys.”
The Lallemand Forward Scholarship program provided $109,500 to students since 2015. The five students receiving 2022 scholarships are:
- Tanya Weber, who is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine from Washington State University
- Alice Rocha, a doctoral student at the University of California-Davis studying animal biology
- Cassidy Ross, a graduate student at South Dakota State University who is pursuing a master’s degree in animal science
- Audrey Tarochione, a junior at Kansas State University working towards a degree in animal science
- Dina Graves, a junior at Clemson University pursuing a degree in food science
Weber always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian while growing up on a cow-calf operation in Fernwood, Idaho. Her family ensured she was included in administering herd vaccinations and processing calves, giving her firsthand experience. In 2014, she earned a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinary science from the University of Idaho. After graduation, she worked for Benewah Veterinary Clinic and Silver Valley Veterinary Clinic as a veterinary assistant, where she was mentored by Patti Barrett, DVM, among others. Weber also worked as a research technician for the University of Idaho while earning her master’s degree in animal sciences. She oversaw two projects investigating the use of commercially available genetic tests to make management decisions with feedlot cattle. Weber is in her second year at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and continually brings back her knowledge to the family ranch.
Alice Rocha – Ph.D. candidate recipient
Growing up in Wellesley, Mass., Rocha’s first encounter with cattle occurred during her freshman year at the University of California-Davis. She began an internship feeding calves, which led Rocha to join two research laboratories focused on sustainable livestock research. That’s where she met Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., and Ermias Kebreab, Ph.D. These mentors shifted her original plan from becoming a veterinarian to pursuing a doctorate in animal biology focusing on sustainability. Rocha earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in sociology in 2018. She also holds a master’s degree in global and sustainable animal production systems from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. Rocha hopes to become an industry advisor to help organizations achieve climate goals and educate consumers.
Cassidy Ross – M.S. candidate recipient
Ross was raised in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, on a commercial cow-calf operation. Her personal experience — combined with multiple internships — led her to pursue a career as a ruminant nutritionist. Ross spent a summer riding pens at Pound-Maker Agventures feedlot in Saskatchewan. She learned about rotational grazing and drought management at Tee-Two Land and Cattle in Canada. Ross graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and minoring in agribusiness in 2022 and also gained experience in animal nutrition as an intern with Feedlot Health Management Services. After graduating from South Dakota State University, she plans to promote efficiency and cost effectiveness in the industry as a ruminant nutritionist.
Audrey Tarochione – B.S. candidate recipient
Tarochione developed her appreciation for animal agriculture while growing up on her family’s crop and cattle operation in London Mills, Ill. She chose Kansas State University for its animal science curriculum and is focusing on breeding and genetics. Tarochione is also working towards a minor in business. She is currently building her own commercial cow-calf herd and hopes to grow it into a larger operation while working in beef genetics and helping producers improve their herds and market their genetics.
Dina Graves – B.S. candidate recipient
Originally from Glenview, Ill., Graves is pursuing a degree in food science from Clemson University. She is passionate about creating nutritious and delicious foods that are sustainable and affordable for everyone. Graves was the Edlong Flavor Solutions sensory intern in 2021, and she also worked as a sensory science technician at Matrix Science. In her spare time, she is a member of the Clemson Food Science Club and the Clemson Astronomy Club. After graduation, she hopes to work in research and development and combine her knowledge of food and microbiology.