Over the past 36 years, the program has awarded $820,000 in college scholarships to over 124 high school seniors pursuing a career in agriculture.
The late Thomas H. Lutsey was a well-known inventor in the mid-20th century, best known for the still-popular ice cream snacks we all enjoy today. However, many people may not know that Thomas H. Lutsey worked on his family’s farm in Pulaski, Wisconsin as a child. Working on the farm helped teach him many life skills that soon contributed to his success. Hard work, diligence and perseverance helped him to serve well as a dairy farmer with a plethora of concoctions, sweet treats and automated machinery.
Lutsey’s agricultural innovation has been carried out in the form of the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms grant for over 36 years. Lutsey originally created the scholarship to help students in rural communities with a passion for farming and work hard to further their education and consequently help their community.
Today, the annual grants are presented by Waseda Farms President and Thomas H. Lutsey’s grandson, Matt Lutsey. He is proud to announce the selection of five highly deserving and talented candidates for 2021. Each candidate will receive a four-year, $10,000 college scholarship.
The Lutsey-Waseda Farms program, supported by Waseda Farms, has awarded more than $820,000 in grants since 1986. Many of the grantees have done great things for their communities.
“My grandfather would be very proud of the impact the grant program is having on dozens of communities here in Wisconsin in supporting the future of agriculture through education.” said Matt Lutsey. “This new generation of farming enthusiasts has been tested in unimaginable ways as we have all grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and a half. Their resilience to overcoming so much will serve them well in the pursuit of their interests in agriculture and help advance their community.”
Students must be a senior to be considered for the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. The high school must be within 150 miles of Green Bay and have an excellent academic reputation. The candidate must plan to attend an accredited four-year college or university while pursuing an agricultural degree with the hope that it will improve Wisconsin’s rural communities.
2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Fellows
This year’s grant recipients include an impressive mix of outstanding students, FFA leaders and young entrepreneurs.
“Each spring, the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Committee has the enriching task of evaluating and judging grantee applications and then deciding from so many outstanding applicants who is most deserving of a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship.” said Matt Lutsey. “The 2021 Scholars are an outstanding group for all they have accomplished inside and outside of school, their proactive leadership and community service, their hard work and shared passion to improve agriculture in their local communities. We congratulate them and thank everyone who applied for the Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship this year and wish them all continued success in their college journeys.”
The 2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipients are:
Abigail Helbach, Amherst, Wisconsin Helbach was introduced to farming as a young child, driving tractors with her father on the family farm. This invaluable experience, including the last six years as a farmhand on the Helbacher farms, persuaded her to become the manager of a livestock farm. She would also like to open an e-commerce boutique specializing in western fashion. Initially, Helbach will enroll at Oklahoma State University and plans to double in animal science and agricultural communications. She is the first Amherst High School graduate to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship after placing in the top 10 in her class academically and serving as the school’s FFA President, along with her tenure as a 4-H youth leader in Portage County.
Aliza Jacobs, Luxembourg, Wisconsin Hailed as “an amazing example” in Kewaunee County for youth farming, Jacobs has a strong passion for promoting and educating her community about all aspects of farming. The enthusiastic volunteer has a mantra of “Ag-vocating,” which she applied to multiple jobs tending calves on local farms and raising award-winning Boer goats. She will attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a goal to become an agricultural educator. Jacobs is the first Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship recipient from Luxembourg-Casco High School since 1992 and fourth overall. She placed in the top 25 in her senior year and was FFA vice president of the School of Community Development. She was also the long-time president of her 4-H chapter.
Cora Kleist, Richland Center, Wisconsin The resourceful Kleist’s career goal is to improve the lives of farmers and their families by working as a large animal veterinarian to care for the health of their herds. Only the second Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship recipient from Richland Center High School, Kleist plans to study animal science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has gained a lot of relevant experience with animals, working as a farmhand and administering vaccinations to the cattle on the farm. Known for her strong work ethic, Kleist thrived academically with a perfect 4.0 GPA and ranked in the top 10 of her high school senior class. She has also held several leadership positions. Kleist served as president of the school’s FFA and Science Club and captain of the Richland Center track and field team, and she was president of its 4-H chapter.
Malah Redman, Athens, Wisconsin. With a near-perfect GPA, Redmann was her senior class ambassador at Athens High School. She is only the second Lutsey Waseda Farms Scholar from her school, where she has also served as state president and vice president of SkillsUSA, vice president of the FFA, captain of the academic decathlon team, played in the school band, and competes in three sports. Redmann has aspirations to become a large animal veterinarian and plans to pursue a dual major in equine science and preveterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Working with animals is a matter of course for Redmann. She has worked as a farmhand on a dairy farm caring for calves and has been a veterinary assistant at the Athens Veterinary Service and has been on farm visits treating large animal patients. In addition, Redmann trains Mustangs, having started the Triple R Equines service for feral horses when she was 17 years old.
Adam Zee, Pittsville, Wisconsin, Zee will enter the Iowa State University campus to begin his college studies with the rare dual honors of being a Grand Champion and a Business Owner. He has been crowned Grand Champion for steers three times, which he has shown at local fairs. And he’s been a beef entrepreneur since he founded his company, June Acres Cattle, in 2016, where he farmed a few dozen cows. Zee plans to continue raising Angus cattle while pursuing a career in agricultural engineering with a focus on biological systems. He hopes to work for a company that designs structures for agricultural use. Zee is the first Marshfield High School graduate to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship. He finished in the top 15 in a senior class of more than 300 students, played hockey and baseball, and was extensively involved with the FFA in leadership positions.
A commitment to sustainable agriculture and education
The Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship bears the name of the creator of the scholarship program, who died 35 years ago. Thomas H. Lutsey was a dairy farmer in Pulaski, Wisconsin who developed Gold Bond Ice Cream (later known as Good Humor-Breyers) and ice cream novelties like the Eskimo Pie. His son Tom Lutsey founded Waseda Farms in 2008.
Waseda Farms is a certified organic, sustainable farm in Door County, Wisconsin. The farm strongly encourages farmers to treat their animals humanely and adopt environmentally friendly practices while providing farming jobs to residents of the local community. Waseda Farms also operates those Waseda Farmers Market in Door County. The market is home to walk-in and pickup-ready orders at its butcher shop in De Pere, Wisconsin. Items can be shipped nationwide through the company’s online marketplace.
Readers can learn more about Waseda Farms by visiting WasedaFarms.com.
The scholarship strongly demonstrates Waseda Farms’ commitment to a sustainable and responsible approach to agriculture and education. In fact, Thomas Lutsey firmly believed that it takes hard work and diligence for anyone to be successful. That’s why he wanted to give students who are passionate about agriculture and wanted to further their education the opportunity to do so. The goal of the scholarships is to help students in rural communities go to college and commit to improving their own lives and those in their community through sustainable agriculture and humane practices.
On the Waseda Farmswe help families learn the benefits, taste the difference, and enjoy the process of healthy living certified organic food– because what we choose for our family is one of the most important decisions we can make.
For more information on the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship, go to grant.wasedafarms.com.
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