by Courtney Llewellyn
Offering some good news as the end of winter slowly nears, the National Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA)’s Scholarship Committee awarded $1,000 scholarships to 14 students across the nation. Judges evaluated applicants on scholastic achievements, leadership in school and community activities and responses to DHI- and career-related questions. One of the applicants deemed worthy of an award was Laura Littrell of St. Johnsville, NY.
Littrell said she grew up as a part of her grandparents’ 75-head dairy farm, where they maintain Holsteins. As she got older, she started taking on more responsibilities while also being very active in local FFA and 4-H groups. Today, she has eight of her own cows that she cares for and shows.
“I’m really into pedigrees and genetics and reproduction,” she said. That interest led to her becoming an animal science major, concentrating in dairy, at SUNY Cobleskill. This autumn, however, she’ll be transferring to finish her degree at Cornell University.
“My education shows me all the benchmarks for this industry. I’m always learning new things,” Littrell said. “And I’m always making new connections and friends.”
She said she was definitely excited to learn she had won one of the scholarships from DHIA, as it is a highly competitive, nationwide program. The other winners this year hail from New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and California.
“I definitely want to go into the dairy industry after graduation,” Littrell stated. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. I hope to keep breeding good animals and I plan to stay involved with other organizations once I age out of the ones I’m currently involved with.”
Money generated from the annual National DHIA Scholarship Auction primarily funds the scholarship program. Investments and donations also help build the fund. Proceeds from “The Big Book of Moo” sales support the scholarship program as well (see Moo.CartoonistBook.com). Those interested can donate to the National DHIA Scholarship Fund by contacting Leslie Thoman at 608.848.6455 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On July 1, the 2021 National DHIA Scholarship application will be posted at dhia.org/scholarship.asp.