Referring to someone or something for turning a hundred can be made in different ways. A century is a period of time that spans 100 years. A centennial is a birthday or anniversary of 100 years. A centenarian is a person who is 100 years old.
Make room in the “100 Club” for the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship.
With the selection of six new recipients who will become part of tomorrow’s agricultural future, the scholarship program has surpassed the century mark for the number of exemplary students who earned financial means to realize the dreams they have for their own rural communities.
Since 1986, a total of 105 graduating high school students have benefited from over $600,000 in scholarships gifted through the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. Each scholarship recipient is given a $10,000 scholarship over four years.
Thomas H. Lutsey was a dairy farmer from Pulaski, Wis., who created Gold Bond Ice Cream (later rebranded as Good Humor-Breyers) and ice-cream novelties such as the Eskimo Pie. His son, Tom Lutsey, founded Waseda Farms, an organic farm in Baileys Harbor, Wis., that also has two local markets and distributes food to several restaurants in the region.
Waseda Farms President Matt Lutsey, grandson of the late Thomas Lutsey, noted the significance of the 100th scholarship being given out this year.
“Knowing that so many people have been given an opportunity that they may have not had otherwise is really an amazing feeling,” he said. “I know that my grandfather would be proud to see how this his little scholarship has grown over the years. This was near and dear to his heart.”
2017 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Recipients
The selection of six scholarship winners this year is an increase of one from previous years.
“We had a very difficult time narrowing it down with so many deserving scholars this year,” Lutsey said. “We really felt that adding the extra scholar this year was the right thing to do.”
All of this year’s scholarship recipients are children of farmers and/or farm operators.
The students expertly balanced their school studies and extracurricular activities while tending to daily chores and work duties on the farm. One recipient graduated at the head of her class as valedictorian, and two others are salutatorians by ranking second academically.
“We have no doubt that this small contribution to enhancing rural communities here in our backyard will pay dividends for years to come,” Lutsey said.
The 2017 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipients are:
Lillian Feider, New Holstein, Wis. While working on her family’s third-generation, 300-cow dairy farm and leading her FFA chapter, Feider starred in the classroom with an exceptional 4.1 grade-point average to rank No. 2 at New Holstein High School.
Emma Gwidt, Pulaski, Wis. The oldest of six kids, Gwidt aspires to run her family’s multigenerational dairy farm, where she has raised a herd of 15 Holstein cattle. After serving as president of her local FFA and 4-H chapters and qualifying for the 2017 National Holstein Convention, the Pulaski High School graduate plans to study Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jessica Mehre, Glenbeulah, Wis. With vast interests that included participation in music, theater and sports as well as serving as president of her FFA and AFS-USA chapters, Mehre ranked second in her class at Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School. A partner in her family’s third-generation dairy farm, she will enroll at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study Dairy Science with an interest in dairy systems research.
Erik Ohman, Glenbeulah, Wis. A Plymouth High School graduate who was a team captain in football and wrestling and attained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, Ohman heads to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study Biochemistry. He wants to promote organic farming and operate a small livestock farm, having already logged 15 years of helping out with the cattle and swine at his family’s farm.
Iris Schira, Mosinee, Wis. The Mosinee High School valedictorian with an unblemished 4.0 grade-point average plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Schira has distinguished herself as a leader, from class president in Student Senate and team captain in track and field at school to mentoring as a “Big” in Big Brothers Big Sisters to managing a herd of 28 beef cattle on her family’s dairy farm.
Joseph Tomandl, Medford, Wis. An entrepreneurial mindset has Tomandl thinking about starting a farm or an agriculture-focused business in his rural community as the Medford Area Senior High School graduate moves on to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to pursue agricultural engineering. He has been president of his FFA and 4-H chapters, a cross-country team captain and entrusted with leadership responsibilities at his family’s grass-based dairy farm, including raising a herd of Hereford cattle organically.
A Generational Commitment to Farming and Education
Thomas Lutsey’s son, Tom Lutsey, continued his father’s passion for the farm and purchased land in Baileys Harbor, Wis., that is now Waseda Farms.
The certified organic, sustainable farm encourages the best environmental practices and humane animal treatment and provides agricultural jobs to the community. Waseda Farms also has a store on the farm in Door County as well as Waseda Farms Market in De Pere, Wis. 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. The four-year, $10,000 scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors with a rural background who live within 150 miles of Green Bay and are pursuing a college degree in agriculture that will enhance rural communities.
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.
Three generations of the Lutsey family have carried on the legacy that started with the gifting of the first scholarship in 1986. The annual goal is to support students in our rural communities who go to college and plan to commit themselves to living and working in those communities to advance Wisconsin’s agricultural future.