TWIN FALLS, Idaho, Oct. 21, 2011 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — When the dairy producer leaders of the United Dairymen of Idaho (UDI) and its two branches – the Idaho Dairy Products Commission and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association – agreed to establish a scholarship program this year, they intended to award $1,500 scholarships to seven deserving students of Idaho dairy farm families.

An overwhelming response, however, changed all that and immediately raised the bar.

“There were so many qualified applicants from local dairy farm families that the Scholarship Selection Committee just couldn’t turn them away,” says Mike Roth, president of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association and dairy producer from Jerome, Idaho. “With the rising cost of college and the past few years of economic tough conditions on dairy farms, even a smaller scholarship like this helps to underwrite the cost of books and classes. Any kind of funding has become extremely important to our kids and families.”

The joint Scholarship Selection Committee, chaired by Grace, Idaho dairy producer Sherman Toone – UDI board member – included fellow dairy producers and United Dairymen of Idaho board members Lou Murgoitio and Willie Bokma; Dr. Mireille Chahine from the University of Idaho Extension; and Bob Ohlensehlen, a dairy consultant. To qualify, students had to be children of Idaho dairy farm families.

Toone says it wasn’t long in the review process before the team had unanimously decided to recommend expanding the number of scholarships to be awarded to 2011 graduates.

“As representatives on the Board of Directors for the United Dairymen of Idaho, we recognize what a precious resource our children are and how our future lies in their hands,” says Toone. “We also recognize that for our children to follow their dreams it takes money, dedication, desire, and determination. As an organization, we are pleased to help a few of our deserving students of Idaho dairy farm families with 15 scholarships at $1,500 each.”

Deana Sessions, administrator for the Idaho Dairy Products Commission, which oversees dairy product and nutrition promotion and education programs across Idaho, is proud of the effort. She adds that the idea of investing in future and family is deeply embedded in the culture of Idaho agriculture.

“It is a privilege, on behalf of Idaho’s dairy farm families, to be able to provide scholarships for students seeking to further their education,” says Sessions. “Idaho’s dairy families have a long tradition of giving back to their communities. It is a pleasure to be able to give back to Idaho’s dairy farm families through the scholarship program. We wish all of the scholarship recipients the best in their academic endeavors.”

The Idaho dairy industry’s first scholarship recipients include the following 15 students, who will graduate this spring:

Billy Arriaga, son of Lynn and Rick Arriaga, attending the College of Southern Idaho; Charisse DeVries, daughter of Cynthia and Curtis DeVries, attending Seattle Pacific University; Katylyn DeVries, daughter of Julie and Gregory DeVries, attending Whitworth University; Jeremiah McKell Funk, son of Shirlene and David Funk, attending the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston; Jacob Harris, son of Becky and Nils Harris, attending Brigham Young University – Idaho; Morgan Hubsmith, son of Kaysi and Rod Hubsmith, attending Idaho State University; Kilee Lehman, daughter of Lauri and Russel Lehman, attending the College of Southern Idaho; Adam Machado, son of Jacquline and Matt Machado, attending the University of Idaho; Elizabeth Russell, daughter of Claudia and Steve Russell, attending the University of Idaho; Michael Siegersma, son of Wendy and Mike Siegersma, attending Carroll College; Nolan Stouder, son of Charleen and Gary and Stouder, attending Point Loma Nazarene University; Katelin Taber-Barth, daughter of Karla Barth and Chris Taber, attending the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Kaitlin Troost, daughter of Joyce and Greg Troost, attending Dordt College; Andrea Annie VanderWoude, daughter of Bridget and George, attending the University of Idaho; and Danielle Yett, daughter of Fran and Dan Yett, attending Providence Christian College.

UDI’s scholarship program honors the academic excellence of children of dairy farm families. Besides their academic success other factors in awarding the scholarships’ included; extracurricular activities, community and volunteer activities and an essay on how the applicant planned on using his degree in their chosen career path.

Idaho is the third largest milk producing state in the United States. Its nearly 500 dairy operations – many of which are multigenerational – produce more than 12 billion pounds of milk annually and represent a regional dairy industry that exceeds $1.4 billion and employees thousands of state residents in the areas of milk production, processing, transportation, and distribution.

The Idaho Dairymen’s Association (IDA), based in Twin Falls, ID, was established to continue to develop and sustain an economically viable Idaho dairy industry that works together to achieve success in the domestic and global marketplace in meeting the needs of the Idaho dairy farm families. Founded in 1944, IDA represents all dairy producers within the state of Idaho. For more information, contact Bob Naerebout, IDA executive director, 208-736-1953 / x102,,

News Source: Idaho Dairymen’s Association :: This press release was issued on behalf of the news source by Send2Press® Newswire, a service of Neotrope®. View all current news at: .