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Leta Larsen awarded $5,000 Russel Erickson Scholarship by the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation

Scottville native wins award given to student who aspires to a career in dairy farming

Leta Larsen received the Russel Erickson Scholarship.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Leta Larsen, of Scottville, Mich., was chosen at the 2018-19 recipient of the Russel Erickson Scholarship by the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation (MDMSF) at Michigan State University (MSU).  The $5,500 scholarship is named after Russel Erickson, Michigan State University (MSU) professor emeritus in the Department of Animal Science, and is awarded to a student whose career aspirations include working on or with dairy farms.

Larsen, the daughter of Burke and Lisa Larsen, is currently majoring in agribusiness management with a minor in agronomy at MSU and has plans to graduate in May 2020. Along with taking many dairy-related classes, her dedication to the dairy industry led her to participate in the MSU Dairy Challenge, where she was a member of the first place novice team in 2016. Larsen is also a member of the MSU Dairy Club, in which she served as its Membership and Promotions Chairperson in 2017, and active in the MSU National Agri-Marketing Association. 

In addition to coursework and extracurricular activities, Larsen helps students prepare for employment interviews and assists with preparing for career fairs as a student assistant with MSU Career Services. She also continues to help on her family’s farm, Larsen Farms, as its calf manager and assistant farm manager. In the future, Larsen plans on returning to her family’s dairy operation and opening an on-site dairy processing plant where they will bottle milk and make ice cream and cheese.

“I feel very blessed to have grown up on a dairy farm, and I look forward to working in this industry for many years to come,” Larsen said. “I am confident that I will make a positive impact on this industry that I love and someday will be leaving it better than I found it.”

The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation awarded $100,000 in scholarships to 25 MSU students pursuing dairy industry-related programs of study for the 2018-19 academic year.

For information about 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 MDMSF, contact Dr. Miriam Weber Nielsen in the MSU Department of Animal Science at 517-432-5443.

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