Scholarships

WCMA's student scholarships are an important part of the Association's investment in the industry's future leaders.

Each year, five scholarships worth $3,000 each are awarded to students connected to the industry through the WCMA Myron P. "Mike" Dean Cheese Industry Scholarship and WCMA Supplier Member Scholarship. In April 2021, WCMA announced the establishment of the Brian Eggebrecht Student Scholarship Supporting Skilled Trades for the Dairy Industry WCMA encourages those studying at technical colleges and at four-year colleges and universities to apply.

Two students are awarded the WCMA Myron P. “Mike” Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarship, worth $3,000 each.  Any employee or child of an employee of a WCMA dairy manufacturing, processing, or marketing member company may apply.

Employees or children of employees at WCMA supplier member companies may apply for the WCMA Cheese Industry Supplier Student Scholarship.  Three students will receive scholarship awards of $3,000 each.

Preference for both scholarship awards will be given to candidates pursuing degrees and careers connected to the dairy industry.  Well-qualified candidates will be currently attending a college, university, or technical school in the United States, or registered to attend a qualifying school.

    In 2021, WCMA presented Mike Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarships to:

    • Isaac Johnson, a quality assurance employee at Valley Queen Cheese Factory and undergraduate student studying civil engineering at South Dakota State University. Following graduation, Isaac hopes to continue his career in the industry by designing wastewater treatment plants for facilities such as cheese plants factories.
    • Claire Sipple, a former cheese operations intern at Agropur Inc. and food science major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 2023. Claire plans to pursue a career in the dairy industry as a food scientist in product development of dairy proteins in cheese and whey products. Claire’s father, Mike Sipple, is employed at Agropur Inc., a WCMA member company.

    WCMA also presented WCMA Cheese Industry Supplier Student Scholarships to:

    • John Koch, a high school senior matriculating at Purdue University in fall 2021, planning to major in chemical engineering. John aims to intern at a food processing company during his undergraduate career, followed by a career as a food process engineer. John’s mother, Carolyn Koch, is an employee at Urschel Laboratories, Inc., a WCMA member company.
    • Maxwell Martin, an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in computer engineering and certificate in Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following graduation, Maxwell hopes to pursue a career in automated electronic hardware design and implementation to contribute to his family’s business in the dairy processing industry, both locally and globally. Maxwell’s father, Michael Martin, is a part owner of Complete Control Solutions, a WCMA member company.
    • Melissa Young, a project manager at Kelley Supply, Inc. and graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in supply chain management at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After graduation, Melissa aims to apply her coursework by streamlining automated processes at Kelley Supply, Inc.

    In April 2021, two students were awarded the inaugural Brian Eggebrecht Student Scholarship Supporting Skilled Trades for

    the Dairy Industry:

    • Blake Hill, a sub-lead in packaging at WCMA member Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, will pursue an associate degree in Applied Sciences-Business Management at Chippewa Valley Technical College beginning in August 2021.
    • Tarran Janz, a maintenance technician at WCMA member Sartori Company, is pursuing an associate degree in Electro-Mechanical Automation Technology at Lakeshore Technical College.

    Questions regarding scholarship opportunities may be directed to WCMA Office & Member Service Manager Sara Schmidt.