The Chobani Foundation will provide $160,000 for scholarships to the University of Idaho to help educate the next generation of dairy professionals, the university has announced.
The Chobani Scholars program will focus on students from Idaho’s Magic Valley surrounding Twin Falls, where Chobani operates the world’s largest yogurt plant.
“Chobani has been a great corporate citizen for Idaho from the start. This investment in the people of the Magic Valley — and its own future workforce and supply-chain partners — is a perfect example of the culture behind that civic virtue,” Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said in the university’s press release.
“Working together with the University of Idaho to build a better educated and more highly skilled ag sector will yield personal and economic rewards for years to come,” he said.
The Chobani Foundation funds an identical program at Cornell University in New York state.
The foundation’s goal is to support students, including children of migrant workers, who have family ties to the dairy industry and plan to pursue their own dairy careers.
“As an independent food company with deep ties to our dairy communities, it’s important to us all that we do everything we can to support the next generation of dairy farmers,” Michael Gonda, Chobani’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, said.
“The Chobani Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the communities we call home, which makes this investment in the future of farmers so important. We can’t wait to meet the Chobani Scholars and welcome them into our family,” he said.
The donation will fund eight $20,000 scholarships split between students who begin college in 2019 and 2020. The scholarships are for students whose family members work on dairy farms and who intend to pursue a career in dairy farming.
“This will help students realize their dreams of finding their place in the rapidly evolving dairy industry, one of Idaho’s most important agricultural enterprises,” Michael Parrella, dean of the university’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, said.
Each university will manage the selection of specific scholarship recipients.