Three of this year’s four scholars are their high schools’ first-time recipients of the four-year, $10,000 college scholarship since the program started in 1986 to advance agriculture in rural communities.
The reach – and resulting impact – of the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship continues to expand in Wisconsin after 33 years.
Three of the four recipients this year are the first graduating high school students from their respective schools to be selected for the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship.
The presentation of the four-year, $10,000 college scholarship to each recipient this spring raises the total of Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholars to 109 since the start of the program in 1986. And the collective money awarded to the scholarship winners in the history of the program has climbed to more than $700,000.
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.
“In keeping with the vision my grandfather had when he created the scholarship foundation over three decades ago, we are delighted to once again support young, resourceful and aspiring students who have a passion for agriculture and a desire to someday strengthen their own communities as they further their education,” said President Matt Lutsey of Waseda Farms, which sponsors the scholarship program through Green Bay-based Lutsey Enterprises.
Matt’s late grandfather, 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 as well as other locations in the Midwest.
2018 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Recipients
This year’s scholars include a valedictorian, a salutatorian, a businesswoman and a fireman, all from different parts of Wisconsin.
“These four students stood out among a large pool of applicants, all worthy of consideration for the scholarship award by the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Selection Committee,” Matt Lutsey said. “It’s impressive to see how each of the scholars excelled in the classroom, participated in numerous activities, took on leadership roles and balanced all of that with time-consuming work on the farm.”
The 2018 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipients are:
Sarah Albers, Prairie du Sac, Wis. Inspired daily by her late father’s hardworking mindset, Albers graduated at the top of her class at Sauk Prairie High School with a 4.3 grade-point average. Combining her love and experience of caring for livestock as a farmhand with extensive leadership opportunities in organizations such as FFA and 4-H, Albers plans to study animal science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and pursue a career as a veterinarian.
Jessica Jurcek, Jefferson, Wis. Having grown up and worked many years on her family’s grass-fed beef farm, Jurcek is passionate about sustainable agriculture. So much that the salutatorian of Jefferson High School’s graduating class with a 4.3 grade-point average and former Student Council president will enroll at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study sustainable systems management so she can help farmers implement renewable technologies.
Olivia Pusch, Rubicon, Wis. A top-10 student at Hartford Union High School with a 4.1 grade-point average and a well-rounded pedigree of multiple extracurricular activities, Pusch made her mark as a young entrepreneur, too. She started to raise, show and sell Angus cattle as a 14-year-old, expanded the operation to breed Wagyu cattle and will pursue a degree in animal science at UW-Madison with a career goal of researching livestock genetics and nutrition.
Austin Vandertie, Brussels, Wis. As the eighth Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholar from Southern Door High School (matching Denmark High School for the most Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship recipients from one school), a highly involved Vandertie excelled academically as well as outside the classroom. The longtime farmhand on his family’s dairy farm aspires to lead the operations there as a fifth-generation farmer after he pursues a degree in dairy science at UW-Madison. Vandertie also is a state-certified firefighter who plans to continue helping his volunteer fire department.
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.