2023 Scholarship Recipients

Each year, First District Association offers scholarships to its member-owners. Below are the recipients of our 2023 scholarships: 


Amalia Draxler
Glenwood City, WI

The drive to learn something new has always been Amalia’s interest. From attending conferences, to getting involved in organizations, and learning firsthand on her family’s dairy farm, she is always immersing herself in as much as possible. She contributes her success to various mentors who have helped her continue to grow in the agriculture sector. In return, she hopes to one day help others and become a role model for young agriculture enthusiasts.

In the fall Amalia will be attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying Agricultural Business Management and Life Communication Sciences. Throughout high school, Amalia has been heavily involved in FFA, 4-H, and was Glenwood City Princess. She wants to continue to advocate for agriculture through various internships and organizations in the future.

“Without the leaders in my life, I would not be as passionate about ag as I am now.”


Zack Fier
Porter, MN

A future fourth generation farmer, Zack has always known he wanted to come back to his family’s farm. His involvement in organizations such as 4-H and FFA where he shows and judges dairy cattle have amplified his interest and passion to continue in the dairy industry.

Zack plans to attend Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, South Dakota and pursue the Dairy Option. He hopes to take back what he learns in the classroom to his family’s farm. Some key areas of interest he is excited to learn about is ultra-sounding animals, raising replacement heifers, breeding programs and how to manage financials.

“I plan to use my knowledge gained from college to create added efficiencies at our farm.”


Ella Filk
Hutchinson, MN

Ella’s ultimate goal is to contribute to the dairy industry by being able to take her communication skills and knowledge of the industry to promote for dairy farm families like her own. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm alongside her brothers taking care of the animals and riding in tractors. In the fall, she will be attending Ridgewater College in Willmar working towards an Ag Business degree where one day she can work closely with farmers.

Ella has been active in her community by volunteering at her church for many years. She has also been heavily involved in 4-H at both the county and state level with holding many leadership roles, FFA and was recently crowned a McLeod County Dairy Princess.

“Agriculture has been a constant in my life, and I really want to make an impact somehow within the agricultural community.”


Jamie Gibbs
Rollingstone, MN

Jamie grew up on her family’s 200-cow dairy in southern Minnesota and has her own small herd of 25 Jersey cows and heifers. She has found her experiences on the farm have been valuable in other aspects of life such as her work ethic in school and sports.

As a member of FFA, Minnesota Jersey Association, American Milking Shorthorn Society, 4-H, was Minnesota Jersey Queen and being a dairy judging enthusiast, it truly emulates Jamie’s passion for the dairy industry. She will be attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in the fall studying Animal Science.

“Having the opportunity to manage a herd at such a young age has given me countless opportunities to experience the world of agriculture and see the vital role it plays in the world.”


Liberty Jans
Grove City, MN

Liberty has been involved in many different organizations and activities such as 4-H and FFA. She credits both organizations to helping her grow her leadership and communication skills. These skills have helped her also grow in both dairy showing and dairy judging.

Currently a freshman at South Dakota State University studying Agriculture Business, Liberty hopes to pursue a career within the agriculture industry either on the financial side or returning to her family’s farm.

“Growing up on a dairy farm has truly shown me many experiences which I’m very thankful for. It has given me grounded morals and ideals that I will live by throughout life.”


Madalynn Nachreiner
Fairfax, MN

Determination and hard work are just a few traits Madalynn has taken with her from growing up on her family’s dairy farm. From animal health, equipment maintenance, and financials, she has truly seen and loved all facets of the dairy farm. She hopes to stay within the dairy industry after obtaining her degree in agriculture business from South Central Technical College.

Madalynn has been heavily involved within her local FFA chapter and 4-H club holding several leadership positions. She loves to bring forth new ideas and spark interest in others about the agriculture industry.

“My work ethic and determination has shown me goals I’ve set for myself can be achieved.”


Halli Poppler
Waverly, MN

Halli has a true desire to help and feed the growing population in America. From a young age, you could find her active on her family’s 600-cow dairy farm milking cows, feeding calves and helping in the fields. After completing her degree in agriculture business at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Halli would like to become a farm service agent or work within the agronomy world.

FFA has been a huge contributor to Halli’s passion for the agriculture industry. Through her many projects and volunteer hours, she has been able to learn about different parts of agriculture she was unfamiliar with.

“Growing up in agriculture has given me excitement and pride to continue my future in the same path I grew up in.”


Kalie Ritter
Avon, MN

Growing up on her family’s fourth generation dairy farm, Kalie has been exposed to many experiences that she is grateful for. She hopes to one day give back and land a career where she can help dairy farmers by connecting them to resources that will help their operations. In the fall she will be attending South Dakota State University for an Agriculture Science degree.

Her involvement in 4-H, FFA and as a Stearns County Dairy Princess, she has found pride in creating consumer connections and encouraging young agriculture leaders. These experiences have inspired her to further her education in the agriculture industry.

“…because an industry that feeds us is an industry worth fighting for.”


Dayna Terning
Darwin, MN

Since a young age, Dayna remembers going over to her grandparent’s farm for sleep overs to help her grandfather on the farm. Since then, she has been able to work on other dairy farms, including her brother’s most recently in 2022.

In the fall, Dayna will be attending South Dakota State University for Dairy Manufacturing and Production to one day work at a dairy processing plant. Throughout high school, she has been involved in FFA, 4-H, Dairy Bowl, crowned a Meeker County Dairy Princess, trapshooting, National Honor Society, and a part of her church’s worship team.

“The work ethic that is learned [on the dairy farm] with keeping a set schedule, getting up at the crack of dawn and milking cows both morning and night are a true commitment and many teachable moments learned.”


Malorie Thorson
Waverly, MN

Malorie’s plan in the fall is to obtain a degree in dairy production at South Dakota State University. She then wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps to come back and be the sixth generation on her family’s dairy farm. While the dairy industry brings many challenges, Malorie takes these times and seeks new ways to succeed and care for her animals.

She is actively involved in her local FFA chapter by volunteering and holding leadership positions. She has also been involved in the Wright County Dairy Ambassador program, concert band, choir, and her local church.

“I want to be a reliable source for people to come to or reference so my words can be used for a positive outlook on the dairy industry.”


Meg Wiebe
Northfield, MN

Having not grown up on a dairy farm, Meg knows there is still so much to learn. While her time working on a dairy farm has been instrumental, she will also get a degree in dairy production at South Dakota State University to expand her knowledge of the industry. She hopes to one day become a herdsperson for a dairy farm after college.

Her involvement with 4-H and FFA have also sparked her interest in agriculture. She has held many officer and leadership positions and has immersed herself in learning all she can about the agriculture industry.

“I truly enjoy learning about cattle and making connections with knowledgeable people.”


Grace Woitalla
Avon, MN

With a passion to give back to farmers, Grace sees an opportunity within the agriculture industry to do so. She has always had an invested interest in her father’s custom harvesting business and plans to take that passion with her to Ridgewater College to pursue a degree in Agribusiness with a crop emphasis. One day she hopes to work for a cooperative that provides seed sales and other cropping services to farmers.

Grace also sees the benefit of supporting and promoting the dairy industry through her time in different agriculture organizations. In her time as serving as a Stearns County Dairy Princess and as a member of her local FFA chapter, she has been able to connect to both consumers and farmers and has seen all the sides of the agriculture industry.

“The dairy community is my home, and my largest goal is to give back to the community that provided so much to me.”


Congratulations to this year’s recipients!