Premier Select Sires awarded a total of $25,950 to students through the 2023 Premier Future Ag Leaders Scholarship Program. Two students received $2,500 scholarships through the Johnny Daniel Memorial Scholarship and the Wayne Dudley Scholarship. Fourteen other students received scholarships of $750 to $1,250 in value.
William Coltrane of Pleasant Garden, N.C. is the son of David and Amy Coltrane. William received the Johnny Daniel Memorial Scholarship. William is from Coltrane Dairy LLC, a Holstein operation milking 5,500 cows. He is a student at the University of Mount Olive studying Ag Business and Animal Science. After graduation, William plans to return to his family’s fourth generation farm. He says that although today’s farmer faces many challenges, the future looks better, and he plans to play a part in helping farmers gain the respect they deserve for their dedication and work ethic.
Julia Heijkoop of Gainesville, Fla. is the daughter of Johan and Trisha Heijkoop. Julia received the Wayne Dudley Scholarship. Julia is from Milk A Way Dairy (1,070 milking cows) and K&H Dairy (760 milking cows, 315 dry cows and springers). She is a student at Santa Fe College studying Agriculture Operations Management with a minor in Agriculture and Natural Resource Law. After graduation, Julia hopes to work in policy and become a lobbyist for an agriculture-related company. She wants to work with lawmakers to pass legislation that will support farmers and ranchers while promoting the sustainability of the agriculture industry.
Jordan Anderson of Centre Hall, Pa. is the daughter of Don and Angela Anderson. Jordan is from Locust Rock Farm (home of Cabaret Cattle Company), an operation with 20 head of cattle. She is a student at the University of Wyoming studying Agriculture Communications. After graduation, Jordan plans to pursue a career that allows her to advocate for the agriculture industry and help give hardworking farmers a voice that reaches consumers. She is also considering working in the marketing and communications department of an agriculture company.
Elise Balmer of Lititz, Pa. is the daughter of Jeffrey and Jesslyn Balmer. Elise is from Stoney Path Farm, a dairy operation with 120 milking cows and a total of 240 head. She is a student at Lebanon Valley College studying Exercise Science. After graduation, Elise plans to become a physical therapist. In her role, she hopes to connect with farmers who may need physical therapy for various injuries that can occur on-farm and educate patients without an agricultural background on the benefits of agriculture.
Hayley Daubert of Dayton, Va. is the daughter of Jeremy and Rebecca Daubert. Hayley is from Stox Dairy, a dairy operation with 30 head of cattle. She is a student at South Dakota State University studying Dairy Manufacturing with a Microbiology Focus. After graduation, Hayley plans to become a physician assistant. She hopes to work in the emergency room of a rural hospital. She believes the medical profession needs more people with a farming background to understand how to best treat those with a farming lifestyle, and to help farmers through difficult times when farming accidents occur. She also hopes to start a farmstead cheese business.
Brooklyn Drake of Marathon, N.Y. is the daughter of Richard and Susan Drake. Brooklyn is from Drake Farms, a Holstein operation with 600 head of cattle, milking 320 head. She is a student at SUNY Cobleskill studying Agriculture Business. After graduation, Brooklyn hopes to pursue a career as a middle school agriculture educator, work part-time at a local dairy processing plant, and run her own business selling vegetables, cut flowers, pumpkins, mums, wreaths, etc. Through her ventures, she hopes to promote the dairy industry in numerous ways.
Laurel Gray of Stony Point, N.C. is the daughter of Andy and Amy Gray. Laurel is from Grayhouse Farms, a dairy operation with a 1,200-cow milking herd. She is a student at North Carolina State University studying Agricultural Business Management. After graduation, Laurel plans to return to her family’s dairy farm to assist with the financial aspects of the business including payroll, bills, and accounting. She also enjoys field work and working with calves and heifers. In addition, she plans to raise and sell beef direct to consumer and play a role in her family’s hunting business.
Darcy Heltzel of Martinsburg, Pa. is the daughter of Andrew and Jennifer Heltzel. Darcy is from Piney-Mar Farm, a dairy farm with150 milking and dry cows and 120 heifers. She is currently a senior at Central High School and plans to pursue a degree in Food Science with a minor in Animal Science. With her education, she hopes to impact both her family’s heritage of farming and the lives of others by advocating for dairy’s story in food production.
Madelynn Hoffman of Manheim, Pa. is the daughter of Curt and Psuche Hoffman. Madelynn is from Tui Genetics where they milk 65 cows with a robot and have about 200 animals in total. She is a student at Cornell University studying Animal Science. Madelynn is currently in a pre-vet track in school and is thinking of becoming a veterinarian. She has considered specializing in reproduction or genetics. Madelynn would like to someday have her own business, either a veterinary practice, dairy farm, or both.
Regan Jackson of Boyce, Va. is the daughter of Kevin and Laura Jackson. Regan is from Waverly Farm, a Jersey operation in Clearbrook VA. She is a student at Louisiana State University studying Food and Nutrition with a minor in Biology. After graduation, Regan plans to attend medical school and become a doctor. She will use her position to advocate for production agriculture among doctors and patients. She also plans to volunteer with many of the youth organizations that molded her and guided her to many opportunities.
Kendal Jenkins of Columbia Crossroads, Pa. is the daughter of James and Tracy Jenkins. Kendal is from Leona-View Holsteins, a dairy operation milking 60 registered Holsteins. She is a student at Penn State University studying Animal Science, and she will also graduate with a Smeal College of Business Certificate. After graduation, Kendal plans to pursue a career as a dairy nutritionist. She feels that this career path will allow her to be involved in multiple agricultural areas such as animal science, cow care, agronomy, forage crop management, and more.
Lainey Koval of Stillwater, N.Y. is the daughter of Christopher and Jennifer Koval. Lainey is from Koval Brothers Dairy, LLC, a dairy operation milking 500 Holsteins. She is a student at Cornell University studying Agricultural Science. After graduation, Lainey plans to pursue a career where she can work alongside farmers, either in agricultural sustainability or financial and business management. She hopes to assist farmers in ensuring their farms remain viable and able to feed communities while also protecting their land and earning a living.
Katheryn Longenecker of Williamsburg, Pa. is the daughter of Doug and Yvette Longenecker. Katheryn is from Penn England LLC, a dairy operation with 2,010 milk cows and 1,850 heifers. She is a student at Penn State University studying Animal Science. After graduation, Katheryn plans to obtain a job as a sales representative or nutritionist for a feed company. As she grew up on the farm and showed animals, she enjoyed the advice of others serving in those positions and hopes to help other producers raise animals that grow and produce to their best ability.
Constance Maxwell of Shady Dale, Ga. is the daughter of Cuyler Johnson. Constance is from Godfrey Dairy Farm LLC, a Holstein operation milking 1,100 cows. She is a student at Georgia Military College and the University of Georgia studying Agriculture Business with a minor in Dairy Science. After graduation, Constance hopes to pursue a career in which she can serve as a bridge between dairy producers, consumers, and agricultural companies. She is passionate about creating opportunities to help shape and heal the dairy industry and other agriculture industries.
Charles Patterson, V of Chestertown, Md. is the son of Charlie and Sherry Patterson. Charles is from Patterson Farms Inc., a Holstein operation milking 300 cows. He is a student at Purdue University studying Ag Systems Management. After graduation, Charles plans to return to his family’s dairy farm and use what he learned in college to make the farm more efficient and profitable. He also hopes to expand the farm in the future.
Danae Ranck of Ronks, Pa. is the daughter of Darrell and Tina Ranck. Danae is from Walnut Hollow Farm, a dairy operation milking 65 cows. She is a student at the University of Arkansas studying Agricultural Communications. After graduation, Danae hopes to work for an organization that is educating consumers about the truth behind food and farmers. She has special interest in working strategically with children and low-income families to make sure they are educated about nutrition and food.
Honorable Mentions for the scholarship program include:
- Joseph Coltrane of Pleasant Garden, N.C.
- Lemuel Coltrane of Pleasant Garden, N.C.
- Alex Empet of Kingsley, Pa.
- Rachel Featherstone of Manhattan, Kan.
- Katelyn Poitras of Brimfield, Mass.
- Madison Sifford of Goldvein, Va.
- Cole Verano of Okeechobee, Fla.
The Premier Future Ag Leaders Scholarship Program provides financial support to eligible students pursuing agricultural education, and it also provides additional return to the cooperative’s member-owners by supporting the next generation of young people desiring to study and work in the agriculture industry. The Premier Select Sires board of directors has made a commitment to providing money to support this scholarship program on an ongoing annual basis.