Scholarships

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

WCMA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2022 Student Scholarships!

Each year, seven scholarships worth a total of $19,000 are awarded to students connected to the dairy processing industry. The WCMA scholarship program is made possible by industry engagement through the generous support of WCMA members and the annual Championship Cheese Auction. This year's Auction, held during CheeseExpo April 12-14, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, raised a record-breaking $333,125 to support the next generation of dairy processing.

Dairy processors and their family members are eligible for the WCMA Myron P. “Mike” Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarship. Over 25 years, WCMA has awarded these $3,000 scholarships to 44 students. Winners of the 2022 Mike Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarships are Bailee Aisenbrey and Jamie Feldmann.

  • Bailee Aisenbrey currently works in the production plant at Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. Set to begin a quality assurance internship this summer, she is also completing her undergraduate degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Upon graduation in May 2023, Bailee plans to continue pursuing a quality assurance career in the dairy processing industry.
  • Jamie Feldmann, Manager of Supplier Quality at Sartori Company, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) focused on project management from Lakeland University. After obtaining his graduate degree, Jamie aims to move into a project management role within the company to continue developing supply chain continuity.

Since 1999, suppliers to the dairy industry and their family members have earned the WCMA Supplier Student Scholarship. In total, 57 of these scholarships have been awarded over 22 years. The 58th, 59th, and 60th recipients of the WCMA Cheese Industry Supplier Student Scholarship, receiving $3,000 each, are Jenna Jakel, Stephanie Kraemer, and Jack Pluta.

  • Jenna Jakel has served for 11 years as the Office Manager at Loos Machine & Automation. She plans to graduate from Upper Iowa University in December 2023 with an MBA with an accounting focus. After graduation, Jenna aims to continue her career with Loos as the company’s Controller/Office Manager.
  • Stephanie Kraemer currently works as a Quality & Food Safety Specialist for IFF (Danisco) in Madison, Wisconsin. She is pursuing an MBA at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, with goals of becoming a Marketing or Brand Manager upon graduating in May 2023.
  • Jack Pluta is a Processing Engineering intern at Excel Engineering, continuing a family tradition shared with his father, Senior Project Manager John Pluta. After graduating in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, Jack plans to continue his dairy industry career as a Process Engineer in Excel’s Food Process Group.

Since 2021, WCMA has also selected two students to receive the Brian Eggebrecht Student Scholarship supporting skilled trades in the dairy industry, worth $2,000 each. This award, named in honor of Championship Cheese Contest Chairman and generous donor Brian Eggebrecht, is open to students attending any technical school in Wisconsin, or high school students registered to attend a Wisconsin technical school. The winners of the 2022 Brian Eggebrecht Student Scholarship are Bryce Gustafson and Xiapor Lor.

  • Bryce Gustafson is employed as an Internal Raw Materials Grading Coordinator at Masters Gallery Foods. He is currently pursuing a degree in Manufacturing Management at Lakeshore Technical College. In the future, Bryce aims to continue his career in Masters Gallery’s Grading Department and become a licensed cheesemaker.
  • Xiapor Lor currently holds a Utility position at Masters Gallery Foods’ Oostburg, Wisconsin location. Upon graduating with an Associate’s degree in Electromechanical Maintenance from Lakeshore Technical College, Xiapor plans to pursue a maintenance career with Masters Gallery.
Congratulations to all 2022 WCMA Student Scholarship recipients!

Questions regarding WCMA scholarship opportunities may be directed to WCMA Business & Membership Manager Sara Schmidt.