Portage County graduate honored with the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship
For the Gazette
GREEN BAY – Before the late Thomas H. Lutsey made a name for himself as an inventor in the mid-20th century of still-popular ice-cream snacks, his life’s work as an innovator started as a child working on his family’s farm in Pulaski, Wisconsin. Life skills of hard work, diligence and perseverance were acquired at a young age and served Lutsey well as a dairy farmer and with his groundbreaking concoctions in the dairy industry with automated machinery and sweet treats.
The agricultural and innovative legacy of Lutsey has carried on the last 36 years with the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. Lutsey started the scholarship as a way to help students in rural Wisconsin communities who have a passion for agriculture to work hard, advance their education and enhance their local community.
Matt Lutsey, president of Waseda Farms and grandson of Thomas H. Lutsey, is proud to announce the selection of five graduating Wisconsin high school students for the 2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship. Each scholar receives a four-year, $10,000 college scholarship.
Since its inception in 1986, the Lutsey-Waseda Farms program, which is supported by Waseda Farms, has awarded more than $820,000 in scholarship money to 124 scholars.
“My grandfather would be very proud of the impact the scholarship program is having on dozens of communities in various regions of Wisconsin with the support of the future of agriculture through education,” Matt Lutsey said. “This new generation of agricultural enthusiasts has been tested in unimaginable ways as we have all grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic the last year and a half. Their resilience to overcome so much will serve them well as they pursue their interests in agriculture and help advance their community.”
To be considered for the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship, students must be in their final year of high school, graduating from a high school that is within 150 miles of Green Bay, in good academic standing, planning to attend an accredited four-year college or university, and committed to pursue a career in agriculture that will enhance Wisconsin’s rural communities.
2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Recipients
This year’s scholars include an impressive mix of high-achieving standouts in the classroom, FFA leaders and young entrepreneurs.
“Each spring, the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Committee has the enriching task of assessing and judging the scholar applications and then deciding as a group who, among all impressive applicants, stands out as most deserving to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship,” Matt Lutsey said. “The 2021 scholars are an outstanding group for all they have accomplished inside and outside of school, their proactive leadership qualities and service to community, their industrious spirit, and their shared passion to enhance agriculture in their local communities. We congratulate them and thank all those who applied for the Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship this year, and we wish everyone continued success as they move on to college.”
The 2021 Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship recipient from Portage County are:
Abigail Helbach, Amherst, Introduced to agriculture as a young child when she would ride the tractor with her father on the family’s cash crop farm, Helbach’s fond childhood experiences out in the fields included checking the farm’s irrigation systems. Those invaluable experiences, including the last six years of working as a farmhand at Helbach Farms, have her aspiring to become a manager with a livestock company. She also would like to start an e-commerce boutique specializing in western fashion. To get started, Helbach will enroll at Oklahoma State University, planning to double major in animal science and agricultural communications. She is the first Amherst High School graduate to receive a Lutsey-Waseda Farms scholarship after ranking in the top 10 of her class academically and serving as the school’s FFA president, along with being a longtime 4-H youth leader in Portage County.