Congratulations to this year’s Student Leader Scholars. Ten individuals have been recognized as Student Leader Scholars and will receive a $3,000 scholarship to support their 2017-2018 academic studies. Eight of these scholarships are generously supported by the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, while the other two will be funded by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania.
The ten recipients include:
Hannah Hunsberger, who is a sophomore studying plant science at The Pennsylvania State University. Hannah is the daughter of David and Christina Hunsberger of Mifflintown, Juniata County. This summer, she is completing an internship with the USDA Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Office. Upon graduation, she plans to dedicate time to a service term with ECHO, an international agriculture ministry. Hannah then plans to either return to her family’s dairy farm, or work as a crop consultant within the dairy industry.
Zane Patrick Itle, who is a junior studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. Growing up on a 200-milking cow dairy farm in Loretto, Cambria County, he is the son of Dan and Machelle Itle. From working on his family’s farm, Zane has experience in not only operating a dairy, but also with dairy processing plants. His family packages and delivers their milk, ice cream, butter and yogurt products. After graduation, Zane plans on becoming the fourth-generation partner and co-owner of his family’s farm and dairy processing plant.
Jacob Kline, who will be a freshman studying agricultural business at Morrisville State College. Growing up on a 215-milking cow dairy farm where he has started his own herd, Jacob is the son of John and Sharon Kline of Myerstown, Lebanon County. He recently completed his term of as the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania FFA State Vice President. Upon graduation, Jacob plans to return to his family’s farm as well as working in an agriculture company as a business representative.
Greg Kowalewski, who is a senior studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. He is the son of John and Judy Kowalewski of Forest City, Susquehanna County. As a student at Penn State, Greg is involved in the Dairy Science Club, the Penn State Meats Lab, and is a brother of Delta Theta Sigma. After graduation, he plans on either working as a herdsman or filling a consulting role to work directly with producers.
Sandra Krone, who is a junior studying dairy science at Virginia Tech. She is the daughter of Jerry and Amy Krone of Fountainville, Bucks County. While at Virginia Tech, Sandra is involved in the Dairy Club and will be an ambassador for Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Upon graduation, she plans on owning a small business while operating an independent mating service for local farms.
Kelly MacRae, who is a sophomore studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. Growing up on a dairy and beef farm, she is the daughter of Robert and Sherry MacRae of Grove City, Mercer County. As a Penn State student, she is involved with the PSU STEM Club while being active in two undergraduate research programs. Kelly is also a recipient of the Ann Wannsack Award. After graduation, Kelly plans on obtaining her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
Zane Merkel, who is a junior studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. He is the son of Ronald and Brenda Merkel of Lebanon, Lebanon County. Zane currently works on a robotic dairy farm by working closely with herdsmen, nutritionists and agronomists. Upon graduation, he plans to become an animal nutritionist and start his own dairy herd.
Tony Rice, who is a junior studying agribusiness management at The Pennsylvania State University. The son of Gerald and Sharon Rice, he grew up on a dairy farm in Mt. Pleasant Mills, Snyder County. Tony served as the 2014-2015 Pennsylvania FFA State Vice President. Additionally, he is currently a national student advisor for Agriculture Future of America and the chairman for the Pennsylvania FFA’s Committee for Supervised Agriculture Experiences (SAE). After graduation, Tony wants to pursue a career as either a government relations liaison for a dairy cooperative or a position for the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service.
Hanna Welk, who will be a freshman studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. She is the daughter of Jeremy and Erin Welk of Quarryville, Lancaster County. Throughout high school, Hanna was involved with 4-H, the Solanco FFA and the Lancaster County FFA. She also served as the Lancaster County Dairy Princess. Upon graduation, Hanna plans to return to her family farm as well as working in dairy marketing.
Mary Wright, who is a junior studying dairy science and animal science at The University of Georgia. The daughter of Douglas and Alice Wright, she grew up on a small dairy farm in Yardley, Bucks County. Mary is a member of UGA’s Dairy Science Club and Dairy Show Team. She is also the second vice president of the southern regional Student Affiliate Division of the American Dairy Science Association. After graduation, Mary plans on obtaining her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
Congratulations to these ten individuals, who were selected from a pool of thirty-four very deserving candidates. Information on the 2018 Student Leader Scholarship will be available in February 2018.