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 2018-2019 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:
Abby Sterner, who is a senior studying dairy science at Delaware Valley University. Growing up on a dairy farm of Brown Swiss cows, Abby is the daughter of Karen and Jonathan Sterner of Barto, Montgomery County. This summer, she is interning on Brook-Corner Holsteins through the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation On-Farm Internship Program. Abby plans to use the experiences she gains on her internship to pursue her future career goal as a dairy herd manager and continue raising and showing Brown Swiss from her family’s farm. As an FFA member and 10-year 4-H member, Abby also plans to give back to 4-H and hopes to some day become a 4-H leader to help others have an incredible 4-H experience like she had growing up.
Danielle Varner, who is a senior studying dairy science at Delaware Valley University. Growing up on a 330 milking-cow dairy farm, Danielle is the daughter of Dean and Donna Varner of Shirleysburg, Huntingdon County. Danielle has been a past On-Farm Intern through the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation On-Farm Internship Program and takes pride in her leadership roles at Delaware Valley University as the Dairy Society President and the upcoming 4-H/FFA Dairy Judging Contest Co-Chair. Upon graduation, Danielle plans to pursue a career as a calf/heifer herdsman and continue her passion for promoting the dairy industry by becoming one of the chair members for the PA Ayrshire Association.
Drew Walton, who is a junior studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. Growing up on the Walton Farm of 850 milking-cows, Drew is the son of Matthew and Shala Walton of Cochranville, Chester County. Drew is heavily involved at Penn State as a volunteer at the Animal Science Lab, a member of the Dairy Science Club and a member of the Reproduction Research Team. Though research is not his end goal, he considers the opportunity to work in research as a once-in-a-life time opportunity, hoping to one day take what he learns and conduct his own research on his family farm. Ultimately, Drew plans to go back to the family farm and become a partner in the family business.
Jaydyn Isiminger, who will be a freshman studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University, Erie Campus. Growing up on a dairy farm, Jaydyn is the daughter of Junia and Michael Isiminger of Union City, Crawford County. Jaydyn is very active in and out of school. In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, FFA and varies sports. Outside of school, Jaydyn is an active member of her local 4-H club, serving as the reporter, vice-president and president positions over her 11 years of membership. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue higher education to become a large animal vet.
Jenna Metzler, who is a sophomore studying business and accounting at The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus. Growing up on a her family’s sixth generation dairy farm, Jenna is the daughter of Troy and Jennifer Metzler of Martinsburg, Blair County. Jenna was an active member of FFA and 4-H, excelling in both programs as the President of her FFA Chapter and for placing 4th out of 108 participants at the World Dairy Expo Dairy Judging Competition as part of the Pennsylvania 4-H Dairy Judging Team. After completing her undergraduate degree, Jenna plans to take the Business Manager role on her family’s dairy farm, grow their farm tour business and continue educating the public about dairy food safety through her role on the family farm.
Kelly MacRae, who is a junior studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University. Growing up on her family’s dairy and beef farm, Kelly 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 and is the treasurer for the Dairy Science Club. Kelly is also a recipient of the Ann Wannasack Award, a past Student Leader Scholarship recipient and a current Intern at the Waddell’s Farm through the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation On-Farm Internship Program. After graduation, Kelly plans to own her own and operate her own dairy farm.
Madison Weaver, who will be a freshman studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus. The daughter of Fred and Tammy Weaver, Madison grew up in Ephrata, Lancaster County. Madison has been heavily involved in her local dairy princess program since she was eight, currently serving as Lancaster County dairy ambassador and has been chosen to represent Pennsylvania at the 2018-2019 Miss American Angus Pageant. Additionally, Madison remains very active in her 4-H club which has lead her to her most recent accomplishment of becoming the President for the Pennsylvania Junior Holstein Association. Madison plans to pursue a degree in agronomy upon graduation.
Nicole Guise, who is a sophomore studying agriculture science and extension education at The Pennsylvania State University, York Campus as a member of the Schreyer Honors College. The daughter of Denton and Amy Guise, Nicole grew up in Spring Grove, York County. Nicole’s list of accomplishments impressively shows her commitment to learning and exploring all parts of agriculture to one day be an agriculture teacher and FFA leader. In the past she was a Distinguished Junior Member, was a member of the winning team for the Startup Challenge, was accepted to the Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and lead a Squash Hunger Project that raised over 2,000 pounds of food for their local food banks and was recognized on a state level by Secretary, Russell Redding.
Stephanie Takitch, who is a senior studying animal science and business management at The Pennsylvania State University. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Stephanie is the daughter of Thomas and Tammy Takitch in Latrobe, Westmoreland County. As a student who works and lives at the Penn State Dairy Barns, Stephanie enjoys this unique opportunity to provide tours to the public while furthering her dairy knowledge. Currently, Stephanie is an Intern at the Zug Family Farm through the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation On-Farm Internship Program and plans to take back the methods and ideologies she has learned to her home county where she hopes to be a dairy herd manager upon graduation.
Yvonne Longenecker, who will be a freshman studying food science at The Pennsylvania State University. Growing up on a dairy farm, Yvonne is the daughter of Douglas and Yvette Longenecker in Williamsburg, Blair County. Currently, Yvonne is the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and has served in many leadership roles in high school such as Vice-President of the National Honor Society, President of the Central Cove FFA and an active student council member. Additionally, Yvonne has had the honor of being a Pennsylvania Delegate that was sent to Madison, Wisconsin for the National 4-H Dairy Conference. Yvonne plans to pursue a career producing and developing new dairy products that will satisfy the tastes of all consumers, hoping to make a difference for the dairy community.