June 26 2012 07:05 AM

Showing appreciation for someone's time or resources helps ensure it will continue.

Gratitude seems to be lost these days. A sincere thank you is replaced with a "Yea, thanks man."

While some gestures only need a quick thank you, others might necessitate more. Writing thank you notes is a benefit to the writer and donor/volunteer. During June Dairy Month, hundreds of dairy producers are opening their operations for others to learn about milk and the dairy industry. While they certainly are not doing it for the accolades, a well-received thank you notes makes all the hours of preparing seem worth it. Jody Wacker of Kansas was a member of YDLI Class 7. She invited school children to her farm for some "basics" on the dairy industry. Here is one of the thank you notes she received. Will it make you want to host an event yourself?

The thank you note reads: Dear Jody, Thank you for letting us pet the baby cows.
We loved it. And, thank you for the ice cream. We love it, too. ~Raven (kindergartener)

As the cost of college continues to increase, we are fortunate in agriculture to have numerous scholarships available to help fund young peoples' education. In our August 10 issue, we dedicate a page to dairy scholarships. In addition, more scholarships, relating to dairy, can be found on our website at under our youth section.

When a young person is awarded a scholarship, one of the first things they should do is write a letter to the company, organization or individual who made the scholarship available. Some scholarships are given away each year from the interest earned, ensuring the scholarship is available for years to come. In other cases, a family might donate money each year for a scholarship in the name of a friend or family member. Their contribution may be made on a year-to-year basis. It is important that they are reminded that their donation is appreciated and the memory of their loved one is honored.

Recently, I had a conversation with a young couple who donates over $1,000 a year to a state scholarship in the name of a family friend. Nearly a year later, they have not heard from the recipient and they do not know who won the award! The organization that distributes the scholarship needs to know the donor's name (unless it is anonymous) and should have provided an address to the recipient. It is both the responsibility of the organization and the recipient to show their appreciation to generous donors. If you were donating scholarship money from your personal account, wouldn't you want to know it was going to a worthy recipient, or if it was ever awarded at all?

• So, to those that earn scholarships, send timely thank you notes to donors.

• To the organizations that provide scholarships or administer them, remember to provide the contact information to the winners so they can reach out to donors. And do not forget to contact your donors so they are aware of the winners as well.

These simple gestures will help to continue providing scholarships to deserving young people far into the future.