Wisconsin Cheese Makers AssociationThe Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) will award five student scholarships April 17 during the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference in La Crosse, WI. Each of these successful candidates earns $2,000 scholarship awards.

WCMA’s Mike Dean Scholarship to Hangartner, Lensmire

Each year, two students earn the $2,000 Myron P. “Mike” Dean Cheese Industry Scholarship. The 2013 recipients are:

  • Alyssa Hangartner, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the daughter of Steve & Judy Hangartner; Steve is an employee of Saputo Cheese USA. Alyssa is pursuing a degree in Microbiology and is interested in a career in food safety testing and research.
  • Joshua Lensmire, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joshua is the son of Don & Lynn Lensmire, and his father is employed at BelGioioso Cheese Inc. Joshua has also worked summers at BelGioioso. He is pursuing a degree in Microbiology and hopes to attain a master’s degree and continue research involving pathogens in food.

This is the 15h year WCMA has offered scholarships in the name of Myron P. “Mike” Dean. WCMA initiated these scholarships in 1997 and in 1999 named the scholarship in honor of Mike Dean, dairy extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Dean, a WCMA Life Member, trained Wisconsin cheesemakers for over 30 years and led cheese quality efforts at the University of Wisconsin. He passed away March 25, 1999.

“Among this year’s applicants were these two excellent students pursuing microbiology and food safety and quality research. These students are a great fit with Mike Dean’s work and legacy,” said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

WCMA’s Supplier Member Scholarships

Three $2,000 scholarships are awarded to WCMA supplier members and their families each year. The 2013 recipients include:

  • Annaliesel Hannes, a student at North Carolina State University where she is pursing degrees in Microbiology and Food Science. Annaliesel’s father, Donald, is employed at Loma Systems.
  • Mitchell Altmann, a student at University of Wisconsin-Stout seeking a degree in Business. Mitchell’s father, Tom Altmann, is VP Operations at Altmann Construction Company in Wisconsin Rapids, where Mitchell has worked during the previous four summers.
  • Amanda Skarlupka, who currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is pursuing a degree in Microbiology and Botany. Amanda’s father, Joe is employed at Zepnick Solutions.

These students are the thirty-third, thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth recipients of the WCMA scholarship for supplier members. “The dairy industry is a partnership between our creative makers and the suppliers that provide innovation and solutions. The WCMA Board of Directors is honored to offer scholarships to these supplier member families and to further the education of these exceptional students,” John Umhoefer said.

The WCMA student scholarship program is supported by the Championship Cheese Auction at the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference. Each year, the auction of gold medal cheeses from WCMA’s Championship Cheese Contests provides income for a permanent, reserved scholarship fund within Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. The Auction is a highlight of the Chr. Hansen Reception.