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Four students earn milk co-op scholarships

August 16, 2005

RESTON, Va. - The Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative has awarded scholarships to several students from Western Maryland.

"These students are the future of our industry and it is our responsibility to make sure they have access to the best education possible," said Jay Bryant, general manager of the co-op.

"We know these scholarships are an investment that will return dividends for years to come," Bryant said.

Receiving a $1,000 scholarship is Ryan Shank. He hopes to use his dairy science and agricultural business degrees to manage, and someday, purchase, his family's dairy farm south of Hagerstown, the co-op said in a press release.

Shank, a junior at Delaware Valley College, is a member of the dairy science club, FFA and Alpha Gamma Rho. The son of Ralph and Teresa Shank, he attends Shiloh United Methodist Church and in 2005, received his American FFA degree.

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Following graduation from Virginia Tech, Laura Gaver hopes to utilize her business degree to work on her family's dairy and Christmas tree farm in New Market, Md., the co-op said. A Linganore High School graduate, Gaver is active in 4-H, FFA, National Honor Society and is the former Frederick County and Alternate Maryland Dairy Princess. Gaver, who received a $750 scholarship, is the daughter of Michael and Lisa Gaver.

Following her graduation with a degree in dairy science and agriculture business from Delaware Valley College next spring, Jennifer Herbst will return to her family's farm near Smithsburg to continue producing milk, the co-op said. Herbst, the daughter of David and Betsy Herbst, is active in the dairy society, Sigma Alpha and Delta Tau Alpha. She received a $500 award.

A junior at Delaware Valley College and $250 scholarship recipient, Brian Forsythe hopes to help manage the dairy and roadside produce stand his family operates south of Hagerstown, the co-op said. Forsythe, the son of Michael and Christine Forsythe, is active in the dairy society and is co-herdsman of Delaware Valley's dairy farm.

Several other scholarships were awarded to students in other areas, the co-op said.

Each year, it said, it awards five $1,000 scholarships. This year, it presented an additional $5,000 in awards, thanks to contributions from anonymous donors and industry partners.

Maryland & Virginia is a milk marketing and processing cooperative representing nearly 1,500 dairy farmer-owners from Pennsylvania to Alabama. The cooperative includes two fluid processing plants: Marva Maid in Newport News, Va., and Maola Milk and Ice Cream in New Bern, N.C.; manufacturing plants in Laurel, Md., and Strasburg, Va.; and an equipment and farm supply business in Frederick, Md.

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