In celebration of National Dairy Month, Chobani and Cornell University are pleased to announce the first group of Chobani Scholars to enroll in classes at the university.

Four New York students attended Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) this past academic year, aided by scholarship support from Chobani. They will pursue a variety of careers as the next generation of New York dairy professionals, with interests ranging from animal science and dairy management, genetics and herd management.

The Chobani Scholars program was established at Cornell University in 2018 and funds four $20,000 scholarships annually ($5,000 per year, per student). The scholarships are for New York students with family connections to dairy farming and who intend to pursue a career in the dairy farming industry.

“We believe one of the best ways to help farmers today is to equip tomorrow’s dairy leaders with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly complex and challenging environment,” said Peter McGuinness, president of Chobani. “The Chobani Scholars program is one way we’re investing in the future of dairy in our home state of New York.”

“The Chobani Scholars program is a fantastic way for our young people to prepare for all of the diverse career options available to them within New York dairy and lead as the next generation on the farm,” said Richard Ball, New York State Agriculture Commissioner. “Our dairy industry is not only critical to New York’s agricultural economy but it is so important to our communities across the State. I know that the Chobani Scholars will help to ensure the future of our dairy tradition in New York for years to come.”

“Chobani is a critical part of the New York state dairy economy, and we look forward to building on this strong partnership to bring continued success to our students and the industry,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS. “Here at Cornell CALS, we prepare our students to be next-generation dairy leaders in New York. The Chobani Scholars program will empower young people from local farm families to access a world-class education.”

Chobani and Cornell University announce first class of Chobani Scholars Cassandra Wilbur Chobani and Cornell University announce first class of Chobani Scholars Blake Wadsworth

The first class of Chobani Scholars who are enrolled at Cornell include:

  • Caroline Lafferty of Schodack Landing, NY. “CALS has shaped my understanding of animal science and dairy management,” Lafferty said, “and it has diversified my perspective on dairy farming. Coming from a small town with a limited number of people involved in the dairy industry to a large campus with a whole new network of dairy people has shaped my understanding at a new speed.”
  • Emily Starceski of Sherman, NY. She has worked on her family farm since middle school, and said it’s important for people outside of the industry to realize that family farms aren’t competing against each other. “We are all on the same team, trying to provide consumers with a pristine product.”
  • Blake Wadsworth of Charlton, NY. Wadsworth is especially interested in pursuing herd management as it relates to genetics. “CALS has helped me think on a larger scale and look at bigger pictures,” he said, “since there is a large diversity of student and professor backgrounds, which all give unique insights to certain problems.”
  • Cassandra Wilbur of Fabius, NY. Wilbur grew up on the family farm and joined the local 4-H group when she was nine. “Being active within the 4-H group enabled me to apply for the Beginner Dairy Leadership and Junior Dairy Leader groups through Cornell,” she said. “I wouldn’t be a part of the Cornell community if I hadn’t started 4-H all those years ago.”

In addition to the scholarship, the Chobani Scholars will also have an opportunity to intern with Chobani during their college careers.