More than $820,000 in college scholarships has been awarded to 124 graduating high school seniors from Wisconsin who have pursued a career in agriculture in the 36-year history of the program.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Before the late Thomas H. Lutsey made a name for himself as an inventor in the mid-20th century of still-popular ice-cream snacks, his life’s work as an innovator started as a child working on his family’s farm in Pulaski, Wisconsin. Life skills of hard work, diligence and perseverance were acquired at a young age and served Lutsey well as a dairy farmer and with his groundbreaking concoctions in the dairy industry with automated machinery and sweet treats.
The agricultural and innovative legacy of Lutsey has carried on the last 36 years with the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. Lutsey started the scholarship as a way to help students in rural Wisconsin communities who have a passion for agriculture to work hard, advance their education and enhance their local community.
Matt Lutsey, president of Waseda Farms and grandson of Thomas H. Lutsey, is proud to announce the selection of five graduating Wisconsin high school students for the 2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. Each scholar receives a four-year, $10,000 college scholarship.
Since its inception in 1986, the Lutsey-Waseda Farms program, which is supported by Waseda Farms, has awarded more than $820,000 in scholarship money to 124 scholars.
“My grandfather would be very proud of the impact the scholarship program is having on dozens of communities in various regions of Wisconsin with the support of the future of agriculture through education,” Matt Lutsey said. “This new generation of agricultural enthusiasts has been tested in unimaginable ways as we have all grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic the last year and a half. Their resiliency to overcome so much will serve them well as they pursue their interests in agriculture and help advance their community.”
To be considered for the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship, students must be in their final year of high school, graduating from a high school that is within 150 miles of Green Bay, in good academic standing, planning to attend an accredited four-year college or university, and committed to pursue a career in agriculture that will enhance Wisconsin’s rural communities.
2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Recipients
This year’s scholars include an impressive mix of high-achieving standouts in the classroom, FFA leaders and young entrepreneurs.
“Each spring, the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Committee has the enriching task of assessing and judging the scholar applications and then deciding as a group who, among all impressive applicants, stands out as most deserving to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship,” Matt Lutsey said. “The 2021 scholars are an outstanding group for all they have accomplished inside and outside of school, their proactive leadership qualities and service to community, their industrious spirit, and their shared passion to enhance agriculture in their local communities. We congratulate them and thank all those who applied for the Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship this year, and we wish everyone continued success as they move on to college.”
The 2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipients are:
Abigail Helbach, Amherst, Wis. Introduced to agriculture as a young child when she would ride the tractor with her father on the family’s cash crop farm, Helbach’s fond childhood experiences out in the fields included checking the farm’s irrigation systems. Those invaluable experiences, including the last six years of working as a farmhand at Helbach Farms, have her aspiring to become a manager with a livestock company. She also would like to start an e-commerce boutique specializing in western fashion. To get started, Helbach will enroll at Oklahoma State University, planning to double major in animal science and agricultural communications. She is the first Amherst High School graduate to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship after ranking in the top 10 of her class academically and serving as the school’s FFA president, along with being a longtime 4-H youth leader in Portage County.
Aliza Jacobs, Luxemburg, Wis. Praised as “a fantastic role model” in Kewaunee County for youth agriculture, Jacobs has a strong passion for promoting and educating her community about all aspects of agriculture. The avid volunteer has a mantra of “Ag-vocating,” which she carried over to working multiple jobs caring for calves on local farms as well as breeding prize-winning Boer goats. She will attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a goal of becoming an agriculture educator. Jacobs is the first Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholar from Luxemburg-Casco High School since 1992 and the fourth overall. She ranked in the top 25 of her graduating class and was the school’s FFA vice president of community development. She also was longtime president of her 4-H chapter.
Cora Kleist, Richland Center, Wis. The resourceful Kleist has a career goal of bettering the lives of farmers and their families by caring for the health of their herds as a large-animal veterinarian. As just the second Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholar from Richland Center High School, Kleist plans to major in animal science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s acquired plenty of relevant experience with animals, working as a farmhand and administering vaccines to the cattle on the farm. Regarded for having a strong work ethic, Kleist flourished academically with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average to rank in the top 10 of her high school graduating class. She also held multiple leadership roles. Kleist was president of the school’s FFA and Science Club and a captain for Richland Center’s track and field team, and she was president of her 4-H chapter.
Maleah Redmann, Athens, Wis. Having attained a near-perfect grade-point average, Redmann was the salutatorian of her graduating class at Athens High School. She is only the second Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholar from her school, where her long list of achievements also included serving as state president and vice president of SkillsUSA, vice president of FFA and captain of the academic decathlon team, playing in the school band, and competing in three sports. Redmann has her sights on becoming a large-animal veterinarian and plans to double major in equine science and pre-veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Working with animals comes second nature to Redmann. She’s cared for calves as a farmhand on a dairy farm and has been a veterinary assistant at Athens Veterinary Service and been on farm calls for treating large-animal patients. What’s more, Redmann trains mustangs after she started the Triple R Equines service for wild horses as a 17-year-old.
Adam Zee, Pittsville, Wis. Zee will step onto the Iowa State University campus to begin his college studies with the rare double distinction of being a Grand Champion and a business owner. He’s been crowned a Grand Champion three times for steers he’s shown at local county fairs. And he’s been a beef entrepreneur since starting his company June Acres Cattle in 2016, where he’s managed a few dozen cows. Zee plans to continue to raise angus cattle as he pursues a career as an agricultural engineer with a focus on biological systems. He hopes to work for a firm that designs structures for agricultural purposes. Zee is the first Marshfield High School graduate to earn a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship. He ranked in the top 15 of a graduating class of more than 300 students, played hockey and baseball, and was extensively involved with FFA in leadership roles.
A Commitment to Sustainable Farming and Education
The Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship bears the name of the late creator of the scholarship program 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 such as the Eskimo Pie. His son, Tom Lutsey, founded Waseda Farms in 2008.
Waseda Farms is a certified organic, sustainable farm in Door County, Wisconsin, that encourages the best environmental practices and humane animal treatment and provides agricultural jobs to the community. Waseda Farms also operates Waseda Farms Market on the farm in Door County, provides walk-in and curbside pickup orders at its butcher shop in De Pere, Wisconsin, and ships nationwide through its online marketplace. More information on Waseda Farms can be found at WasedaFarms.com.
The Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship underscores Waseda Farms’ commitment to organic, sustainable and responsible farming and its commitment to education. Thomas Lutsey was a strong believer in hard work and diligence being essential to success. He wanted to help students who had a passion for agriculture and a dedication to furthering their education to better their local communities. The annual goal is to support students in rural communities who go to college and plan to commit themselves to living and working in those communities to advance Wisconsin’s agricultural future.
More information on the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship can be found at scholarship.wasedafarms.com.