Empowering Tomorrow’s Dairy Leaders: Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Announces 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Maryland & Virginia (MDVA) is proud to announce the selection of eight outstanding scholars as recipients of the 2024 MDVA Scholarship.

This year, MDVA is awarding a total of $6,500 from the MDVA Fund to support the educational endeavors of these deserving students. Scholarships from the MDVA Fund will help to offset college expenses for the 2024-2025 academic year. The scholarship program reflects MDVA’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders in the dairy industry and beyond.

The recipients of the 2024 MDVA Scholarship have demonstrated exemplary academic achievements, leadership qualities, and a passion for advancing the dairy community. Each recipient embodies the values of dedication, innovation, and resilience that are integral to MDVA’s mission.

“We are thrilled to recognize these exceptional students for their academic excellence and commitment to the dairy industry,” said Lindsay Reames, Vice President of Sustainability and External Relations. “Maryland & Virginia’s scholarship program is a testament to our ongoing dedication to fostering the growth and development of future leaders in agriculture.”

The winners are spotlighted below:

Sara Stoltzfus of Berlin, Pennsylvania is the daughter of Andrea and Duane Stoltzfus of Pennwood Farms. Sara is attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is studying Animal Science, and hopes to become more involved in agriculture advocacy once she graduates. Sara served as the 2022-2023 Somerset County Dairy Princess. Sara hopes to go into a career on the communications and advocacy side and work with dairy promotion organizations. “I hope to create a dairy promotion program similar to the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotion Service in Massachusetts or even the New England states. I would also like to work for companies such as Dairy Management Inc., and American Dairy Association North East.” according to Sara.

Emory Bewley of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania is the granddaughter of Joseph Pavelski of JoSan Farm. She will be a Senior at Penn State University and is studying Animal Science with a focus on Dairy Science. At school, she is active in the Penn State Dairy Science Club and is the Spring Dairy Expo Co-chair. Emory has explored various parts of the dairy industry with her numerous internships, from veterinary services to her upcoming one with Cargill Dairy Sales and Nutrition in Southwest Wisconsin. She hopes to use all this knowledge to spend her career working with dairy farmers and “to improve management practices and environments for dairy cattle.” said Emory.

Ainsley Sellers from Lebanon, Pennsylvania is the daughter of Kraig and Meranda Sellers of Gem-Rock Farm. Ainsley is the fourth generation on her family’s dairy farm. She will attend Penn State University in the Fall as a freshman majoring in Animal Science. She has been very active in her local 4-H and FFA chapters, competing in the dairy judging and dairy bowl contests. Ainsley hopes to pursue a career in dairy robotics and aspires to be a dairy robotics technician who installs and maintains the robots on dairy farms. “Robots are the future of agriculture, especially with dairy farming. There are robots for feeding, pushing feed, scraping manure, milking cows, etc., and lately, farmers have been looking toward robots to help make their lives easier,” said Ainsley.

Taylor Flahart of Quarryville, Pennsylvania is the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth Flahart of Kilby Farms, LLC. Taylor is majoring in Animal Science at Penn State University. She is actively involved in Block and Bride and livestock judging, providing her with invaluable hands-on experience and leadership skills. Taylor is interested in pursuing a career in the dairy industry focusing on the scientific aspects such as dairy nutrition, genetics, reproduction, and diseases. “I’m really hoping my future career will involve animal genetics in some way. By leveraging advances in animal genetics, I can contribute to developing more efficient and productive breeding programs,” said Taylor.

Keegan Stuver of Frederick, Maryland is the son of MDVA employee Todd Stuver. Keegan is majoring in Economics and will be a Senior this fall at the University of Maryland, where he is a student in their Honors College. Keegan is involved in several finance clubs and was an Equity Officer with the Student Government Association. Keegan’s interest in agriculture is guiding his path after college, “I am committed to making a positive impact in economics and the dairy industry, with plans to work in the dairy industry after graduation and bring an economics and entrepreneurial perspective to the industry,” said Keegan.

Joseph Coltrane from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina is the fourth generation at Coltrane Dairy, LLC. Joseph is the son of David and Amy Coltrane and was a freshman this past fall at North Carolina State University. He is majoring in Agriculture Business. He is active in his local 4-H, where he was inducted into the 4-H Honor Club. As for his future plans, Joseph said, “I plan to return to my family’s dairy farm. I eventually want to take over the farm and run it with my two brothers. It would be an honor to take on the role of the farm manager and continue to work with Maryland and Virginia.”

Lemuel Coltrane from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina is the fourth generation at Coltrane Dairy, LLC. Lemuel is the son of David and Amy Coltrane and was a freshman this past fall at North Carolina State University. He is majoring in Agriculture Sciences with two concentrations in Agricultural Business and Crop Science. He is active in his local 4-H, where he was inducted into the 4-H Honor Club. “As I learn about the necessities of farming, the technology that is being introduced in the agriculture field, and the management practices of a farm, I plan on soaking it all in. This will allow me to apply my newly learned knowledge to my own dairy farm in order to improve it,” said Lemuel.

Regan Jackson of Boyce, Virginia is the daughter of Kevin and Laura Jackson, Laura is a Field Representative with MDVA. Regan will be a Junior this fall at Louisiana State University, where she is studying Nutrition and Food Science with a minor in Biology and hopes to attend medical school after completion of her bachelor’s. Regan is an active member of the Virginia Junior Holstein Association and The Virginia Jersey Cattle Club. This past November she was recognized as the National Junior Jersey Youth Achievement Winner and in October was appointed to the National Dairy Shrine Board of Directors as the student ambassador. According to Regan, “I plan to use my degree and respected status as a doctor to become a trusted voice for production agriculture and I hope to influence other doctors and parents and put myths to rest. Regardless of where I land in life, I know I will forever be an advocate for milk and dairy products.”

MDVA congratulates these talented individuals on their achievements and wishes them continued success in their academic and professional pursuits.

To be eligible for a Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers scholarship, students must be the son, daughter, or employee of a current co-op member or the son or daughter of a Maryland & Virginia employee and attending an accredited college or university. For more information about the cooperative’s scholarship program, visit the Maryland & Virginia scholarship page.

The scholarships are awarded through Maryland & Virginia’s MDVA Fund. The MDVA Fund goes beyond scholarships to include sponsorships and product donations for dairy industry events, programs, and organizations that share Maryland & Virginia’s mission of supporting our local communities. Visit the MDVA Fund page to learn more.

Student Photos: Available upon request.


Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is a community of more than 900 dairy farm families in 10 states passionate about cultivating dairy goodness and bottling fresh Maola brand milk and dairy products. Our farmer-owned cooperative owns six dairy processing plants that process more than three billion pounds of milk annually. Our diverse portfolio of dairy products are then distributed to consumers in the United States and ingredients customers worldwide. Our cooperative is a leader in sustainability, partnering across the supply chain to deliver sustainable solutions to our member farms. We take pride in supporting the educational and nutritional needs of the communities in our milkshed through our MDVA Fund. For more information about Maryland & Virginia, visit:  www.mdvamilk.com.

Contact: Virginia Funk, vfunk@mdvamilk.com or 540-333-5856

Dateline: Herndon, Virginia