The dairy checkoff, managed by Rosemont, Ill.-based Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), awarded 12 academic scholarships to students enrolled in programs that emphasize dairy and who have shown potential to become future dairy leaders.

The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB), through DMI, annually awards $2,500 scholarships to 11 students. In addition, the NDB awards a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship to one outstanding scholarship recipient, DMI said.

Eligible majors include journalism, communications/public relations, marketing, business, economics, nutrition, food science and agriculture education. Scholarship criteria include academic achievement and a career interest in a dairy-related discipline, along with demonstrated leadership, initiative and integrity, DMI said.

Michelle Schmitt, a University of Wisconsin – River Falls student who is majoring in food science and technology, earned the 2020-21 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship, DMI noted. Students earning $2,500 scholarships include Todd Allen (Virginia Tech), Kiara Gilardi (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo), Ashley Hagenow (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), Theodore Jacoby (South Dakota State University), Brianna McBride (Iowa State University), Lynn Olthof (Michigan State University), Jack Palla (Oklahoma State University), Jessica Schmitt (Iowa State University), Margaret Socha (South Dakota State University), Anna Tarpey (University of Missouri), Sarah Thomas (Virginia Tech).