Chobani has committed to supporting agricultural development at Cornell, dedicating $500,000 to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and allowing students to benefit from the Chobani Scholarship Program over the next five years.
Since 2018, the program has created opportunities for a number of students in CALS pursuing a career in dairy. This January, Chobani announced that it will broaden its entire program by one million dollars and will expand its eligibility criteria to include a wider variety of agricultural interests.
In the past, this scholarship has provided CALS students interested in dairy with life changing opportunities. Libby Swatling ’24, a scholarship recipient, is an animal science major with a focus in dairy management. Before finding the Chobani program, she reported experiencing difficulty finding a scholarship that would support her aspirations to work in dairy agriculture. Unlike some students pursuing work in the dairy industry, Swatling does not come from a farming background.
“I don’t qualify for a lot of scholarships, and the agriculture focused ones usually require the applicant to be from a farm or be involved in their local [Future Farmers of America] Chapter,” said Swatling. “Not being from a farm and going to an urbanized school with no FFA Program means that I miss out on some scholarships.”
The Chobani scholarship, as one of the few scholarships available to students like Swatling, helps her to pursue her dreams.
“[Chobani] continually reminds me that in the future I want to be able to encourage and support those ‘non-farm’ kids to get involved and follow their passion in the industry,” said Swatling.
As a part of the scholarship expansion, Chobani has promised to support students from underrepresented backgrounds and promote diversity in the agricultural industry as it continues to expand. It pledged 20,000 dollars for diversity, equity and inclusion training at Cornell.
By expanding the scholarship program, Chobani expressed its aim to create an equitable future for a significantly larger number of students going into agriculture.
According to Lucas Walley ’24, an interdisciplinary studies major planning to become a manager at a large dairy farm, this scholarship is more than just a monetary reward.
“[It] will have a huge impact on any young aspiring leaders in the dairy industry,” Walley said.
The scholarship also offers its recipients the chance to work with Chobani in the future.
“Knowing that an industry leader like Chobani is investing and supporting the next generation of leaders will help many other students make an impact on the future of agriculture,” Walley said.