TWIN FALLS — Three local students will attend the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences thanks to scholarship support from Chobani. The students will pursue varied careers as the next generation of Idaho dairy professionals.
The first cohort of Chobani Scholars enrolled at the university for fall 2019 include the following:
- Raquel Dimond of Jerome, a graduate of Valley High School in Hazleton, plans to study animal and veterinary science with a business option. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and return to serve animals in the Magic Valley. A shortage of veterinarians in Idaho makes maintaining animal health a challenge, and Idaho industries rely on healthy animals to produce quality products. The dairy industry affects every single person, from the milk in cereal to the cheese on pizza, Dimond said in a statement.
- Kaitlin Mirkin of Jerome, a graduate of Jerome High School, plans to study animal and veterinary science with a pre-veterinary option. A fourth-generation dairy farmer, her goals for attending college include learning about modern farming, milking, nutrient management and bio-security techniques — knowledge she can bring back to the industry.
- Avelardo Vargas of Rupert, a graduate of Minico High School, plans to study agricultural systems management and agribusiness. Born in Rupert to parents who immigrated from Mexico in 1999, he began working summers taking care of calves at Idaho Acres Dairy where his father worked, then began milking full-time at Whitesides Dairy at age 16. Vargas helped support his family after his father died in April 2018, while earning a 3.9 GPA in high school. The scholarship will help him pursue a college degree with the goal to eventually operate his own dairy.
The Chobani Scholars program was established at the University of Idaho in 2018 and funds four $20,000 scholarships annually. The scholarships are for Idaho students with family connections to dairy farming who intend to pursue a career in the industry. A pipeline of well-educated graduates, armed with future-forward skills and modern farm management capabilities, is necessary for protecting the dairy industry’s important agricultural legacy and ensuring its future success.
In addition to the scholarship, the Chobani Scholars will also have an opportunity to intern with Chobani during their college careers.
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