A man who’s known for helping put the Holstein cattle breed on a new path now has a scholarship fund that’s named in his memory. Holstein Association USA’s Bob Cervera reports on the first-ever “George Miller Memorial Scholarship” awarded during the latest National Holstein Convention in Lexington, Kentucky.
It’s named after a man who was an icon within the Holstein breed, a pillar within Select Sires for nearly two decades, and a generous leader in many other breed associations. Jeff Ziegler, vice president of dairy cattle breeding for Select Sires, tells us what sparked the idea for the scholarship.
“At Select, we tried to do our very best to remember the heritage and what success stories built the company. George is one of those true success stories, not only for Select Sires, but the industry in whole.”
Hosted by the Holstein Foundation and awarded by Holstein Association USA, the soon-to-be annual scholarship was brand new this year. Among many contributions to the dairy industry on the national and global scale, George Miller’s claim-to-fame was a specific bull he helped breed — “Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation.”
“He was instrumental in breeding and developing and really putting the Holstein breed onto a new path.”
The already-popular scholarship brought in a lot of interest right from the start.
“We had 24 applicants in a short period of time, and kudos to the foundation for getting the word out there that this scholarship was even there. They did a marvelous job of social media presence, in particular, to get the word around, to get some quality kids in, and the application process and selection was very difficult.”
Because the George Miller Memorial Scholarship was built to represent all he did for the industry, the chosen recipient needed to share the same passion for giving back. Kylie Konyn, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was awarded the first-ever $1,000 scholarship during the recent National Holstein Convention.
“I plan to enter the dairy industry and consultation of some manner, whether that be in genetics or nutrition. And so, just kind of a whole concept in that aspect, in the impact that Mr. Miller was able to make as a sire analyst for Select Sires, real life, applying that within the dairy industry and other aspects.”
Besides staying active in many Junior Holstein activities, Kylie is proving how serious she is about the Holstein industry between school semesters.
“This summer I am an intern for Cargill Animal Nutrition, and so I’m working with a research project with their technical team, and I’m hoping to find correlations between rumination information with both production health and then different nutrient values in their diet.”
For future recipients, the partnership between the George Miller Memorial Scholarship and Holstein Association USA is a natural one.
“George was a great ambassador for the Holstein Association in general, really believed in the programs and services that the Holstein Association has offered and would do his best to go out of his way to support the association.”
Select sires has been allocating funds for the scholarship from semen sales of a sire with “George Miller” in his name. To learn more, visit holsteinfoundation.org.