Aug. 24 2020 03:15 PM

Many student recognition banquets were held virtually this year, including Lakeshore Technical College.

Each spring, Lakeshore Technical College holds a graduation banquet in northeast Wisconsin for its dairy students. Unfortunately, this spring that could not happen. Students in the nine-month program did not have a chance to introduce themselves to the dairy industry and thank their families, host dairy farms, and mentors who helped them on their path to graduation. The list of activities and results of their competitions at state and national contests were limited this year or nonexistent.

Without a formal gathering, the professor still wanted the students to feel that there was a graduation or a conclusion to their studies. There was an offsite, casual social gathering of students, wearing masks and social distancing, to hear the positive remarks of their adviser. The three students from western Canada had already returned home, but they attended the gathering electronically.

This year 11 students graduated from Lakeshore Technical College’s dairy management program. They received their plaques and posed for an individual photo. Those photos were joined in a digital collage.

Left to right: Emily Teehan, Alyssa Johanek, Nicole Brandt, Emily Pankratz, Heather Griesmer, Nikki Giese, Cody Brunner. Insert includes students from Alberta, Canada : Jantiena Hoeve, Marina Hoeve, and Adam Hulsman. Not pictured is Courtney Summers.

Heather Griesmer

Heather Griesmer was announced as the recipient of the LTC Dairy Herd Alumni Scholarship. She hails from Hartford, Wis.

A highlight of the evening is typically the Hoard’s Dairyman Award presentation. The large plaque that hangs in the college’s dairy department depicts the “Foster Mothers of the Human Race” painting. Each winner’s name is engraved on the award. A smaller plaque is also presented to the winner. This award is voted on by fellow students, who apply a 1 to 10 score in the three categories of character, academics, and community-focus.

Annually, a Hoard’s Dairyman staffer attends the banquet and presents the award. While not present in person this year, I joined the gathering via Microsoft Teams to announce the winner.

Alyssa Johanek
The Hoard’s Dairyman Award winner was presented to Alyssa Johanek from Kewaunee, Wis. She studied both Dairy Herd Management and Agribusiness at LTC.

While certainly not the pomp and circumstance that many hope for in a graduation ceremony, it did provide the students with a feeling of completion. From the Hoard’s Dairyman team, we congratulate Alyssa on all her hard work, graduation, and recognition by her peers. Best of luck to all of the students as they embark on their next adventure.

Patti Hurtgen

The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars, and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.