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EAST LANSING, MI – Rachel Ekkel, of Fremont, Mich., is the 2016-17 recipient of the Velmar Green Endowed Scholarship through the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation Inc., at Michigan State University (MSU). The $3,500 scholarship is named in honor of innovative dairy leader, C. Velmar Green, of Elsie, Mich.  

The scholarship is awarded to a second-year student in the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology dairy management certificate program.

Ekkel, the daughter of Doug and Shelly Ekkel, received the award based on her academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular activities, and interest in the dairy industry.  Ekkel has worked at Ekkel Dairy Farm in Fremont, Fernjo Farms in Tulare, Calif., and Brookvista Dairy Farm in Fremont.  Before her time at MSU, she was involved in 4-H and FFA.  Upon graduation, Ekkel returned to her family’s dairy farm to help operate it with her brother and parents.

The Velmar Green Scholarship was established in 2009 by the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) to recognize Green for his 40 years of service to the MMPA board of directors.  Green is the owner of Green Meadow Dairy Farms, Inc., one of the largest herds of registered Holsteins in North America and home to an on-site teaching laboratory for MSU College of Veterinary Medicine students.  He has held leadership positions with milk marketing groups, breed associations, the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA), the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, university advisory groups, and agriculture lending organizations.  Green was the 2012-13 chairperson of the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and recognized by the World Dairy Expo as the Dairyman of the Year in 2013.

The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to 34 MSU students pursuing dairy industry-related programs of study for the 2016-17 academic year.

For information on making contributions to honor members of the dairy industry or to support student scholarships, please contact the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources External Relations at 517-355-0284. 

To learn more about the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, contact Dr. Miriam Weber Nielsen in the MSU Department of Animal Science at 517-432-5443.

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