In the 34-year history of the program, more than $700,000 in college scholarships has been awarded to graduating high school seniors from Wisconsin who plan to pursue a career in agriculture.
The premise of the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship program is “supporting the future of agriculture through education.”
Support from the program for young people in Wisconsin who aspire to advance their education and a career in agriculture continues to build after 34 years.
Four graduating high school students were selected for the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship this year. The presentation of the four-year, $10,000 college scholarship to each recipient at his or her high school this spring raises the total of Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholars to 113 since the start of the program in 1986.
Matt Lutsey, president of Waseda Farms, which sponsors the scholarship program through Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Lutsey Enterprises, says more than $700,000 has been awarded to Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipients in the history of the program.
My late grandfather Thomas H. Lutsey started the scholarship foundation nearly 35 years ago with a singular vision of rewarding students who worked hard, did well in school, and had a passion for agriculture and a desire to further their education to enhance their community,” Matt Lutsey said. “We are thrilled to once again honor my grandfather’s dream by enabling the dreams of our young scholars.”
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.
Thomas H. Lutsey was a dairy farmer from Pulaski, Wisconsin, who created Gold Bond Ice Cream (later rebranded as Good Humor-Breyers) and ice-cream novelties such as the Eskimo Pie. Thomas H. Lutsey’s son, Tom Lutsey, founded Waseda Farms in 2008. Waseda Farms is an organic farm in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, that distributes certified organic food to several restaurants, grocery stores, other retailers and schools throughout Wisconsin and other locations in the Midwest.
2019 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Recipients
This year’s scholars include a valedictorian, an Eagle Scout, a 4-H president and an animal lover who has experience bringing cattle into the world.
Year after year, as the applications are submitted and then reviewed by the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Committee to determine the next deserving scholars, it never ceases to amaze me the all-around passion, commitment, talent and success these young people have in everything they do—from schoolwork to extracurricular activities to serving and bettering their community to taking on leadership responsibilities to working countless hours on a farm or in another agricultural-related job,” Matt Lutsey said. “This year’s scholars epitomize why the future of agriculture is in good hands.”
The 2019 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipients are:
Justin Engebretsen, Gillett, Wis. An industrious spirit shaped by working on his family’s large dairy farm has served Engebretsen well in other facets of his life. He has been an FFA president and a dairy ambassador for Oconto County, attained the prestigious Boy Scouts status of Eagle Scout, ranked fifth in his graduating class at Gillett High School with a 3.8 grade-point average, and plans to study agricultural engineering at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with an interest in designing efficient machines for farming. Engebretsen is the fourth Gillett graduate — and the first since 1995 — to be named a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholar.
Hailey Fink, Kaukauna, Wis. A love of animals, which has included working with cows and helping deliver calves at a dairy farm in her community, has inspired Fink to pursue a career as a veterinarian to care for livestock. She will enroll at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study animal science after graduating in the top 25 of her class at Kaukauna High School with a 3.95 grade-point average, where she was an accomplished musician and a leader in the school’s peer-mentoring program. Fink is the first graduate of Kaukauna to earn a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship.
Jessica Magdanz, Pine River, Wis. Besides working as a caretaker for the young stock on her family’s dairy farm, Magdanz filled many days the last few years with leadership roles (including 4-H president) and organizing numerous activities in her community. She plans to study agribusiness at UW-River Falls after excelling at Weyauwega-Fremont High School, where she ranked sixth in her graduating class with a 3.9 grade-point average and played in the school band in addition to many years of dancing. Magdanz is the first Weyauwega-Fremont graduate to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship.
Lily Wagner, Westfield, Wis. This year’s class valedictorian at Westfield Area High School with a perfect grade-point average of 4.0 redefined highly involved. She participated in band, choir and musicals, played four sports, was a multi-year state qualifier in forensics, and served as president of her class, Student Council and the National Honor Society. After also working at a local farm, Wagner embarks on her college studies at UW-Madison with a goal of becoming a veterinarian. She is the first Westfield Area graduate to be named a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholar.
A Commitment to Sustainable Farming and Education
Waseda Farms is a certified organic, sustainable farm in Door County 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 and provides curbside pick-up for market orders at its facility in De Pere, Wisconsin. 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.