June 17, 2020, Reston, Virginia – Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers is pleased to announce its 2020 scholarship winners. The cooperative awarded $7,500 in scholarships to 10 deserving students pursuing careers in the dairy industry.
Five students each received a $1,000 scholarship and five additional students each received a $500 scholarship. These scholarships will help to offset college expenses for the 2020-2021 academic year. The recipients were selected based on their resume and cover letter, answers to dairy industry questions, academic achievements and career ambitions.
The $1,000 scholarship winners are:
Todd Allen, Jefferson, Maryland, attends Virginia Tech where his is majoring in Dairy Science with a minor in Agribusiness Management and Agriculture and Applied Economics. Todd grew up on Glen-Toctin Farm and is the son of Jim and Lisa Allen. At school, Todd is active in the Dairy Club, Alpha Zeta, and the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture Mentoring Program. According to Todd, he hopes to “combine [his] passion for dairy cattle and strong mathematical skills to work as a consultant for a precision dairy company.” He hopes to one day return to Maryland in order to work in the dairy industry while maintaining his involvement with his family’s farm.
Isabelle Leonard, Spottswood, Virginia, grew up on her family’s 120 cow dairy and turkey farm. She currently is a Dairy Science major at Virginia Tech. Isabelle, the daughter of Kyle and Keedie Leonard, is a former Virginia State FFA Officer and spent time in Italy as an agritourism and cheese manufacturing intern for four months. After all her wonderful off-the-farm experiences, she hopes to return to her family’s farm. “Returning to run my family’s farm would allow me to continue the tradition of producing high quality milk, caring for the land and our animals, and having an active role in our local community.”
Caroline Dallam, Bel Air, Maryland is a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Animal Science with a focus on Business. She is active in the Penn State Dairy Science Club and was a member of the Dairy Judging Team. Daughter of Kate and David Dallam, Caroline is a ninth-generation farmer with a strong passion for agriculture, specifically the dairy industry. In addition to their dairy farm, her family operates Bloom’s Broom Dairy, a creamery and restaurant. “There has never been a doubt in my mind that I would continue this legacy on my farm and be a part of this industry.” She hopes to continue learning ways to improve her family farm, setting it up for the generations to come.
Rachel Gray, Stony Point, North Carolina is the third generation on her family’s dairy farm, Greyhouse Farms. Rachel is a sophomore at University of Mount Olive majoring in Agribusiness. Throughout her youth, Rachel has been active in 4-H and FFA. Her family milks 1,000 Holstein cows in addition to farming corn, soybeans, and small grain forages. Rachel states her future is heavily focused on the dairy industry. “I have grown up working with, caring for, and learning about cattle and I enjoy every aspect about these animals. Given this lifestyle I have discovered my passion for agriculture and an interest in crops and cattle,” she states.
Ryan Allen, Jefferson, Maryland grew up on Glen-Toctin Farm with his parents, Michael and Johanna Allen. He is currently completing his first year at Frederick Community College, with plans to transfer to Penn State to pursue a degree in Animal Science. He participated in many 4-H and FFA leadership roles and activities while in high school. Ryan has a strong passion for the dairy industry, cultivated by his life on his family’s farm. He hopes to one day work for a bull stud to “help put dairy producers in successful positions by using the best genetics in the world.”
The $500 scholarship winners are:
Jill Allen of Jefferson, Maryland is the daughter of Jim and Lisa Allen. Her family operates Glen-Toctin Farm. She attends Frederick Community College majoring in business and plans to transfer to Virginia Tech to study Dairy Science. Jill was active in 4-H and FFA and is serving at the 2019-2020 Maryland State FFA President. Jill enjoys being an advocate for dairy nutrition. “I’ve been able to utilize my social media platforms to share positive dairy content,” said Jill. After graduation, Jill hopes to apply what she’s learned on her family’s dairy farm to help the farm the farm be successful for future generations.
Kayla Brody from Myersville, Maryland is the daughter of Michael and Karen Conway. She is an employee at Shafdons Farm located in Jefferson, Maryland where she helps milk the herd of 250 cows. Her interest in dairy and agriculture started when she joined FFA as freshman in high school. She has been involved in FFA and served as an officer for her local chapter. According to Kayla, “I did not grow up on a farm, but since I started showing dairy a few years ago, I realized I had found my niche.” Kayla attends Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to Virginia Tech to major in Dairy Science.
William Coltrane from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina is the fourth generation at Coltrane Dairy, LLC. William is the son of David and Amy Coltrane. During the past two years, William was dually enrolled in high school and community college. This past May he received his Associates Degree in Agriculture from the University of Mount Olive. He plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree and return to his family’s dairy farm. While in high school, he was active in FFA, 4-H and the North Carolina Junior Holstein Association where he held leadership roles. According to William, “My goal is to return to the family farm with improved technology to make our business more efficient. Although the future may look bleak at times for dairy, young farmers like me will be needed to ensure that there will always be a supply of milk.”
Magdelene Green of Hagerstown, Maryland is attending Potomac State College of West Virginia University majoring in Animal Science. She is employed at Palmyra Farm in Hagerstown where she has helped with calf care, herd health and milkings. As a former 4-Her and FFA member, Maggie now volunteers as a 4-H leader in her community. Maggie plans to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine with a focus on dairy. “I want to be able to be able to be of assistance to those who have helped me in the past. Dairy is a defining aspect of my life; I could not imagine a career that would be nearly as fulfilling as a life spent helping animals.”
Tiffany Heisman from Strasburg, Virginia. Tiffany attends Eastern Mennonite University with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration. She was active in 4-H and FFA and it was during her connection with a local dairy farm where her interest in the dairy industry began. After graduation, Tiffany plans to become a certified public accountant with a focus on agriculture and would like to work in her community in the Strasburg area to be a resource for farmers. Tiffany’s parents are Ray and Tracey Heishman. Tracey is an employee at Maryland & Virginia’s Valley Milk plant in Strasburg, Virginia.
To be eligible for a Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers scholarship, students must be the son, daughter or employee of a current co-op member or the son or daughter of a Maryland & Virginia employee and attending an accredited college or university. Applications are made available in November of each year and are due in mid-February. For more information about the cooperative’s scholarship program, visit the Maryland & Virginia scholarship page.
Student Photos: Available upon request