The Chobani Foundation and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have partnered to launch a scholarship for dairy science students, providing $20,000 for eight students’ undergraduate education at Cornell starting in fall 2019.
“Chobani Inc. has been a supporter of students and research at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for many years,” Samara Sit, associate dean of marketing and communications for CALS, told The Sun in an email.
The Chobani Scholars Program, as well as a complementary program at the University of Idaho, are intended to “support the future generation of American dairy farmers,” she said.
New York State students enrolled in the department of animal science with a concentration in dairy management will be eligible for the scholarship.
“Students meeting the criteria will automatically be considered for the scholarship, with awardees selected by Cornell Financial Aid in partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” Sit said.
Eight selected students who are planning to work towards a career in dairy farming will each receive a scholarship of $5,000 per year for four years, to be first awarded in the fall of 2019. The financial need of the student will be considered in the scholarship selection, which will be applied towards tuition.
“Cornell and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is committed to opening its doors to all qualified students, regardless of their ability to pay,” Sit said. “Through scholarships, students gain a transformative, world-class education that prepares them for lives of contribution, leadership and service.”
Among those chosen will be students from dairy farming families within New York State. The state is currently facing extremely low milk prices due to overproduction, causing considerable financial stress on both the industry and the manufacturers themselves, Sit said.
The new initiative is especially significant for these in-state students as “dairy manufacturing in NY accounts for over 21% of all agricultural manufacturing sales and 12% of employment, and relies heavily on within-state milk production from the farming sector,” Sit wrote.
The scholarship aims to encourage students to pursue their studies within the field regardless of the present challenges, counteracting in part the cost of an education.
“As the long-term success of our state’s agricultural industries are important to the future of CALS, it is especially crucial at this time that we find ways to offer financial support to our students interested in the dairy farming industry,” Sit said.