Three students in the South Dakota State University Department of Dairy and Food Science recently received scholarships from the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Each year, the NDPRB, through Dairy Management Inc., awards scholarships to 12 undergraduate students from across the U.S. who are enrolled in programs that emphasize dairy and have shown the potential to become leaders in the dairy industry.
"These are highly competitive scholarships with applicants from all over the country and receiving these scholarships are a reflection of the excellence of our three student recipients,” said Vikram Mistry, the interim associate dean of academic programs in SDSU's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. “They certainly will be leaders of the dairy industry in the future."
Scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic performance, courses related to dairy, apparent commitment to a career in dairy, involvement in extracurricular activities, especially those relating to dairy, and their evidence of leadership ability, initiative, character and integrity.
SDSU recipients of the $2,500 scholarships for 2021 include a current student and two recent graduates:
Theodore Jacoby, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, graduated in December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in dairy manufacturing. While on campus, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, SDSU Dairy Club, Pope Pius XII Newman Center, Jacks for Life, State-A-Thon and Young Americans for Freedom.
Following graduation, Jacoby accepted a position as a technical services specialist with Valley Queen Cheese in Milbank.
“I am so honored to be receiving such a prestigious award,” said Jacoby, who received three NDPRB scholarships as an undergraduate. “It is recognition such as this that acts as a reminder to keep on pushing for success. I want to make a difference in the world, and it is nice to feel supported by the dairy industry to achieve these goals.”
Margaret Molitor of St. Cloud, Minnesota, is currently pursuing a degree in dairy production and will be a junior for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year. On campus, she is actively involved in the SDSU Dairy Club, Sigma Alpha sorority, Little International and the Pope Pius XII Newman Center.
Having grown up on a dairy farm, Molitor has always wanted to be involved in the dairy industry. Following graduation, Molitor hopes to take over her family’s organic dairy farm with the goal of diversifying and creating a direct market within her local community.
“It is a huge honor to receive this scholarship,” said Molitor. “I have worked incredibly hard to promote the dairy industry and it feels wonderful and encouraging to be rewarded for my efforts.”
Meghan Hettinga of Orange City, Iowa, graduated in May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in dairy production. Throughout her time at SDSU, Hettinga was a student-athlete on the SDSU track and field team and was a member of the SDSU Dairy Club and Oasis Campus Ministries.
She will be pursuing a master's degree in agricultural education. She hopes to use her education to continue to bridge the gap between dairy producers and consumers, as well as provide educational opportunities for dairy farmers.
“I am incredibly honored to receive this scholarship that perfectly combines my two passions—dairy farming and sharing the dairy story,” said Hettinga. “As a second-generation dairy farmer and college student, I am forever grateful for the many incredible opportunities the dairy industry holds and the doors it has opened for me.”
For more information about the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board scholarship program, visit https://www.usdairy.com/about-us/dmi/scholarship.