The Klussendorf Association and McKown Fund are excited to announce the seven $1,500 scholarship recipients totaling $10,500 in awards. The Klussendorf and McKown Scholarships are presented annually to students in their first, second, or third year at a two-year or four-year college or university in the United States or Canada majoring in dairy science, animal science, agri-business, or other related majors that will develop the skills needed to pursue a career in the dairy industry. In all, over 80 students applied for these prestigious scholarships.
McGehee, Olufs, and Sweeney announced as Klussendorf scholarship recipients
Mary McGehee did not grow up on a dairy farm, but she says that dairy cattle have been a part of her life as long as she can remember. Most of her experience with dairy farming comes from working with her father, who is a bovine veterinarian, and conducting her own research with dairy cattle and farm environments. She has been a three-time finalist at the International Science and Engineering Fair for her research on the isolation of Mycoplasma bovisin dairy cattle. McGehee hails from Okeechobee, Fla., where she and her two older brothers own a small herd of show cattle. She just finished her first year at Illinois’ Kaskaskia College and is thankful for the opportunities she has to be a part of the dairy industry.
The dairy cow has played an important role in Carly Olfus’ life. Being a dairy farmer, she has learned how to be responsible, manage her time, manage her finances, and help others whenever the opportunity arises. Olfus resides in Petaluma, Calif., and is a junior at Oklahoma State University. She has a passion for breeding quality Jersey and Holstein cattle. She has bred and developed her own herd of 20 registered Jerseys and Holsteins and bred the Grand Champion Jersey Cow at the All-American Jersey Show in 2015. In the future, she looks forward to working with dairy farmers to enhance the production capabilities of their cows.
A native from Appleton, N.Y., Christopher Sweeney grew up showing dairy cattle with his cousins in 4-H. Sweeney is a senior at Cornell and has found internships through college where he was able to work on a 1,000-cow dairy farm one summer and assist with planting and harvesting 1,500 acres another summer. He is excited to be a fifth-generation dairy farmer on his family farm. He intends to incorporate new practices and technologies that he has learned about while in college. His favorite quote by author Og Mandino, who he says has shaped him into the person he is today: “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
McKown scholarship awarded to Allen, Gambonini, Krull, and Morrison
Katelyn Allen is the third generation on her family’s dairy, Glen-Toctin Farm, in Jefferson, Md. She is a senior at Virginia Tech where she is an active member of the dairy science club and competes on the college’s dairy judging team. Her involvement in many different aspects of the dairy industry, from showing and production to advocacy and networking, has taught her the value of dairy farming and milk. Allen believes there is a need to improve agricultural literacy for people removed from the farm. In the future she plans to work for transparency in agriculture and help build consumer trust, and therefore hopefully demand too.
Dairy judging, showing, and dairy bowl are all some of Alexandra Gambonini’s favorite hobbies. She is the fifth generation on her family’s dairy, Gamlake Dairy, located in Petaluma, Calif. Her involvement on the farm as a young girl is what sparked her interest and passion for the dairy industry. She is most active with their show animals and keeping up on bull proofs to genetically advance her and her family’s herd. Gambonini owns 66 registered Holsteins and two Brown Swiss. She has no doubt that her future career will be in the dairy industry, and she believes that her studies at Cal Poly have given her the hands-on experience to be successful in whatever she does.
Carly Krull is happiest when she is near her cows. She says growing up on a dairy farm has made her into the leader she is today. In the future, she wants to ensure that young people are able to have the same experiences as she did in the dairy industry. Krull is from Lake Mills, Wis., where her family has registered Holsteins, Red and Whites, and Jerseys. She is a junior at Iowa State University studying dairy science and international agriculture. After college, she would like to work with dairy reproduction, animal health, or farm management. Her drive to pursue a career in the dairy industry comes from the many true-life lessons she learned growing up, as well as the joy and happiness she experiences around cows.
Tanner Morrison has many great mentors in the dairy industry, and he hopes to be one himself in the future. Morrison grew up in Peterson, Minn., and is currently a junior at the University of Minnesota. He feels incredibly blessed to have grown up working with his family on their dairy farm, Esperanza Cattle Company. His family’s herd is 100 percent registered Holsteins, and he owns eight animals himself. His interest is in dairy cattle genetics and nutrition. Morrison has a passion for developing high-type show cattle and knows that formulating correct diets is part of developing elite cattle. In the future he wants to give back to the dairy community and coach youth dairy judging and serve as a volunteer for the Junior Holstein Association.
The Klussendorf scholarships are made available as a result of a gift from the late Klussendorf member Chris Kampf, who won the Klussendorf award in 1956. Money raised by the McKown family and friends of the late “Whitey” McKown, named an honorary Klussendorf member in 1997, make up the funds available for the McKown Scholarship. The Arthur B. Klussendorf Memorial Association honors those who most nearly exemplify the character and ethics of the late, legendary showman and dairy cattle fitter.
For more information about the individuals being recognized at the National Dairy Shrine awards banquet on Thursday, October 4, in Madison, Wis., or for banquet tickets, contact Executive Director Dr. David Selner at [email protected]