Five MSU Students receive Jack and Betty Barnes Michigan Dairy Memorial Scholarship for 2017-18

From the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation.

Two Michigan State University (MSU) students have been awarded the Jack and Betty Barnes Scholarship from the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation for the 2017-18 academic year. Rebecca Herzog and Alexandria Hager both received a $1,000 scholarship earmarked towards completing an international study experience. They were selected based on their academic achievements and involvement in extracurricular activities.

The scholarship is named after the late Jack and Betty Barnes. Jack Barnes was employed with the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) for 39 years and served 26 of those years as general manager.

Maisie Snyder, daughter of Jennifer and Robert Snyder of Kalamazoo, is a freshman at Michigan State studying Food Science.  Maisie has worked as a swim teacher and lifeguard at Portage YMCA, a music teacher for private violin and viola lessons, and as a paid musician for church services, weddings, and other events.  She also interned at the Western Michigan University Developmental Biology Laboratory studying the mutations of zebrafish, and job shadowed at Kalsec Inc. and National Flavors, both located in Kalamazoo.  Maisie is also involved with the MSU Campus Orchestra and Food Science Club.  After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in the food science industry, focusing on dairy product development.

Rebecca Herzog, daughter of Lynn and Trudy Herzog of Paris, MI, is a freshman at Michigan State studying Animal Science. Rebecca is the owner of Jabecty Showstock, producing Beef and Boer Goat breed and showstock.  She has also worked as a barn manager assistant at Rautio Ranch, an accounting assistant at the Lake Michigan CPA Services PLC, and has shadowed a veterinarian, which gave her the opportunity to evaluate ear cytology samples, fecal samples, animal restraint, and help with surgical preparation. Rebecca is also involved with the State Youth Leadership Council, Mecosta County 4-H Council and Junior Livestock Association, and has attended the National Young Leaders State Conference.  After graduating, she plans to attend veterinary school with a focus on production animals and minor in Spanish.  She would like to start her own private practice and work in bovine embryology.  Rebecca will be participating in a study abroad in New Zealand this May, where she will learn about many aspects of agriculture in other countries.

Alexandria (Dria) Hager is the daughter of Nathan and Rachel Hager of Marlette, MI. She is a sophomore at Michigan State studying Animal Science, specializing in Production Animals. Aside from working on her family’s farm, Dria has also worked as a Veterinary Assistant at Laursen Veterinary Services and is currently a receptionist at the MSU Veterinary Medical Center. Dria is also involved with the MSU Dairy Club and MSU Army ROTC Program, where she became a Contracted Cadet in May of 2017. After graduating, she plans to attend Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She then hopes to join the Veterinary Corps as a Veterinary Corp Officer (VCO), where she may work in food safety research while accompanying humanitarian missions in countries with underdeveloped agricultural practices. After serving as a VCO, she then plans to practice as a veterinarian with a focus on production animals and someday have her own practice.  Dria will be travelling to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany as part of the 2018 Dairy Husbandry and Environmental Stewardship study abroad program.

Kelsie Letts, daughter of Ken and Teri Letts of Marshall, MI, is a freshman at Michigan State University studying Animal Science. Prior to attending MSU, Kelsie attended the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center in tandem with high school and participated on research that focused on the protein content of beef. Furthermore, Kelsie was very involved in her regional FFA as a leader in both the Olivet chapter and regional chapter and most recently as the Regional Vice President of the state office. She also participated heavily in her 4-H chapter clubs, served as the council president for 4 years, and was awarded the prestigious Teri Ann Holt Award. Additionally, Kelsie was the Calhoun County Fair Queen in 2017.  Kelsie has shadowed both a local small animal veterinarian and a local dairy herdsman. After her undergrad studies are completed, Kelsie aspires to obtain her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and work on a large dairy farm in California. Ultimately, she would like return to Michigan to open her own large animal veterinary clinic and continue her family’s dairy farm. Kelsie will be travelling to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany as part of the Dairy Husbandry and Environmental Stewardship study abroad program.

Peter VanderHoff is the son of John and Lee Anne VanderHoff of Hillsdale, Michigan. He is a sophomore at Michigan State University studying Agricultural Business Management. Peter is active in the MSU Dairy Club and participated in the prestigious MSU Dairy Challenge where he evaluated dairy herds at different local farms and gave a group presentation on the findings. He currently works at three different dairy farms: Cambria Dairy Farm, Fogle Dairy Farm, and on his family’s farm. This summer Peter will be interning at NorthStar Cooperative where he will focus on dairy breeding and he will receive AI training. Post-graduation, Peter plans to work as either a herdsman or as a manager at a large dairy farm. Eventually, he would like to be granted a beginning farmer loan to purchase or build a dairy in southern Michigan. Peter will also be participating in the Dairy Husbandry and Environmental Stewardship study abroad program this May. He is particularly excited to learn more about the Dutch integration of green initiatives and dairy farming and he hopes to apply this knowledge in his later endeavors.

The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to 35 MSU students pursuing dairy industry-related programs of study for the 2017-2018 academic year.

For information on making contributions to honor members of the dairy industry or to support student scholarships, please contact the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources External Relations at 517-355-0284. To learn more about the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, contact Dr. Miriam Weber Nielsen in the MSU Department of Animal Science at 517-432-5443.

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