HAMILTON — A Saranac native pursing a career in the poultry industry has earned a scholarship.
Sydney Holtforth, a Michigan State University student, was one of three college students who received scholarships from Michigan Allied Poultry Industries (MAPI). This year marked the second annual scholarship awards, according to a press release.
Megan Beekman, of Hope College, and Grace Schmidt, of MSU, were the other students who received MAPI scholarships, per the release. The scholarships are in the amount of $1,500.
Holtforth is a senior at MSU majoring in Animal Science, according to the release. She is a member of the Avian Science Club and Dairy Club. Holtforth completed the Midwest Poultry Consortium Center of Excellence program, raised turkeys with the Avian Science Club and assisted with MSU’s laying hen composting project.
She also interned at Pilgrim’s Pride in Minneosta, where she helped increase the company’s output of cases for fast casual chain Chipotle. Holtforth will join Pilgrim’s Pride after graduation — earning a full-time position.
MAPI awarded two scholarships in 2019 and added a third this year, according to the release. The scholarship is available to undergraduate or graduate students actively pursuing a poultry-focused agricultural field or business. Applicants must have completed a related summer internship in the year they’re applying for the scholarship.
“Proceeds from our annual golf outing fund these scholarships, and we were thrilled by the increased support of our members this year to fund an additional scholarship,” MAPI Executive Director Allison Brink stated in the release.
“The poultry industry is growing all the time, with job opportunities including everything from caring for animals or animal processing, to tech and engineering jobs, as well as business careers with partners and suppliers.”
Beekman is a junior at Hope College student business and communications, and is a member of the Pull Team and Dorian Society. Beekman has worked on her family’s poultry farm, Walcott Farms, since she was a kid. She hopes to work for the farm after graduation.
Schmidt is a junior at MSU and has been active in 4-H for 15 years. She’s served as secretary and president on the Livingston County 4-H Council, and on the 4-H State Leadership Council and as Junior Show Poultry Superintendent. She is studying Animal Science at MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.