WCMA is pleased to announce the 2024 winners of its Annual Student Scholarships!

These exceptional students have been selected to receive a total of $19,000 in scholarship funds. 

The WCMA Student Scholarship Program is funded by the annual Championship Cheese Auction, where gold medal cheeses from WCMA’s Championship Cheese Contests are sold to the highest bidders. Last year's Auction, held at CheeseCon 2023, raised a record $339,835 to support dairy education and future scholarships.

Applications for the 2025 WCMA Student Scholarships will open in the fall of 2024. Questions may be directed to WCMA Business Coordinator Carah Maier at

WCMA Myron P. “Mike” Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarship

Over 27 years, WCMA has awarded the Myron P. “Mike” Dean Cheese Industry Student Scholarship, worth $3,000 each, to 48 students affiliated with dairy manufacturers and processors. In 2024, this scholarship will be awarded to MaKenzie Skibbie and Gabrielle Renard.

MaKenzie Skibbie is pursuing a degree in Food Science at the University of Wisconsin (UW) – River Falls, with plans to become a cheesemaker or dairy researcher after graduating in May 2025. She has held roles in dairy product development with Agropur and in cheese production at the UW-River Falls Dairy Pilot Plant and will complete a cheesemaking internship this summer at Schuman Cheese - Lake Country Dairy. She has also served as a “B-Team” volunteer at the U.S. and World Championship Cheese Contests. MaKenzie is currently employed at WCMA member business Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, and is the daughter of Kari Skibbie of WCMA member company Wisconsin Aging and Grading Cheese.  

Gabrielle Renard is a junior at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, studying Animal Science. Upon graduation in May 2025, she plans to attend veterinary school and pursue a career in bovine veterinary medicine. Gabrielle has experience in cheese production and sales, milking, and dairy animal care through roles at WCMA member company Renard’s Cheese, Delstar Holstein, and the University of Minnesota’s Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Facility. She is the daughter of WCMA Secretary Chris Renard and Ann Renard, owners and operators of Renard’s Cheese/Rosewood Dairy. 

WCMA Cheese Industry Supplier Student Scholarship 

Since 1999, 63 WCMA Supplier Student Scholarships, worth $3,000 each, have been awarded to suppliers to the dairy industry and their family members. This year’s winners are Jacob Kirsling, Danielle Mauhar, and Elijah Ronsman. 

Jacob Kirsling is a senior at Amherst High School, set to begin his studies in agronomy and crop nutrition at UW-River Falls in the fall of 2024. He is a longtime member of Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and has held positions in agricultural production at Patoka Farms, Heartland Farms, and Sand County Equipment. Jacob is the son of Jason and Jenny Kirsling, employees of WCMA member company R.W. Baron Process Equipment. 

Danielle Mauhar is a first-year student at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville studying Mechanical Engineering. Since 2022, she has worked for the Wisconsin State Fair’s Agriculture Department, and she has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers since 2023. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2027, bringing her passion for engineering to a career in the agriculture and food industry. Danielle is the daughter of Douglas Mauhar of WCMA member company Novonesis. 

Elijah Ronsman is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. As a high school student, he participated in Skills USA competitions and the Youth Apprenticeship program, honing key skills for his future career serving dairy and food producers. He is a current employee at WCMA member company HART Design & Manufacturing and plans to complete an internship at WCMA member company Schreiber Foods in the summer of 2024. 

WCMA Brian Eggebrecht Student Scholarship
Supporting Skilled Trades in the Dairy Industry

Since 2021, WCMA has also selected two students each year 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, who passed away in 2022, is open to students attending any technical school in Wisconsin, or high school students registered to attend a Wisconsin technical school. The 2024 winners of this scholarship are Kendall Luzinski and Aaron Schulz. 

Kendall Luzinski is a senior at Thorp High School and a current employee at Dutch Dairy, where her work focuses on dairy calf care and milking assistance. Upon her graduation in May 2024, she plans to attend North Central Technical College, where she will pursue a dual degree in Dairy Science and Agribusiness. 

Aaron Schulz, a Maintenance Technician at WCMA member company Sargento Foods, is currently pursuing a degree in Food Safety & Quality at Lakeland University. In his spare time, he volunteers at Grow It Forward, a local organization working to expand access to nutritious food. Upon graduation in 2027, Aaron hopes to strengthen his commitment to dairy product safety and quality as he continues his career at Sargento.