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National Dairy Shrine Announces Merton Sowerby Junior Scholarships

Denmark, WI. The National Dairy Shrine is pleased to announce the recipients of the Merton Sowerby Junior Merit Scholarships for 2018. These scholarships are designed to encourage qualified Junior status undergraduate students to pursue careers in the dairy industry or related occupations. This scholarship is named in honor of National Dairy Hall of Fame Pioneer and Klussendorf honoree Merton Sowerby.

Haely Leiding of Fountain, Minnesota has been awarded the top scholarship of $1500. Haely is an Agricultural Education major at the University of Minnesota. Haely has had leadership roles in the Gopher Dairy Club, Agricultural Education Club, in Fillmore County 4-H, Lanesboro FFA and as president of the Minnesota Junior Holstein Association. Haely loves showing cattle, dairy judging, Dairy Quiz Bowl and has been honored as a Holstein Association USA DJM finalist. Ms Leiding plans a future as an educator in high school, university extension or for an agricultural service group.

Additionally, five other undergraduate students have been awarded $1000 scholarships.

They are: Elizabeth Regusci from Modesto, California a major in Dairy Science at California Polytechnic State University. Elizabeth has been very active in breed associations and shows with her Brown Swiss & Holstein cattle (Owning 2 All Americans). On campus she is active in the Los Lecheros Dairy Club and in Dairy Judging. Elizabeth, an outstanding student, plans to become a dairy veterinarian.

Jared Sanderson of Sandusky, Michigan who is attending Michigan State University majoring in Animal Science. Jared is the president of the Michigan State Dairy Club, treasurer of the Block & Bridle club and an Eagle Scout. He has taken internships to study abroad and worked in a Ruminant Nutrition lab on campus as well as for Purina. Mr. Sanderson plans to pursue an advanced degree in either Ruminant Nutrition or Veterinary Medicine.

Erica Helmer of Plymouth, Wisconsin who is attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls majoring in Dairy Science. Ms Helmer has served leadership roles in the UWRF Dairy Club, Student Advisory Council, Alpha Zeta, Block & Bridle and Collegiate Farm Bureau. Erica has been honored with several FFA state & National recognitions and has competed successfully in Dairy Cattle Judging. Ms Helmer plans to attend graduate school in dairy genetics.

Alexandra Gambonini of Petaluma, California who is attending California Polytechnic State University and double majoring in Dairy Science and Agricultural Business. Alexandra has been very involved in the Holstein industry in showing and judging. She currently serves on the Holstein Association USA Junior Advisory Committee as chairperson, president of the Los Lecheros Dairy Club, and was president of the California Junior Holstein Association. Alexandra’s future plans include a position in Agricultural Business/economics or possibly graduate school.

Kayla Leiding of Fountain, Minnesota who is attending the University of Minnesota majoring in Agricultural Communication & Marketing. Kayla has been involved in the Agricultural Education Club, CFANS Mentor Program, Gopher Dairy Club, Beta of Clovia Sorority and Minnesota Junior Holstein Association. After serving as the Fillmore County Dairy Princess and as a Midwest Dairy Ambassador Kayla knows she has a future in dairy communications both writing and speaking.

The annual National Dairy Shrine Scholarship & Awards Banquet will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, on Thursday October 4th at 5:30 PM. For more information about the students being recognized by National Dairy Shrine or tickets for the Awards Banquet, contact the NDS office at info@dairyshrine.org. Additional information on National Dairy Shrine membership or other activities is also available at www.dairyshrine.org. Dairy enthusiasts are encouraged to become a part of the most important dairy organization helping to inspire future dairy leaders, honor current dairy leaders, preserve dairy history, and promote the dairy industry.

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