Sarah Michalek of Deckerville, was recently chosen as the 2012-2013 recipient of the Nick Bellows Scholarship from the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation Inc., at Michigan State University (MSU). The $3,500 scholarship is named in honor of Nick Bellows, the former chief executive officer of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM). The award is presented to an MSU student with a career interest in dairy promotions. Michalek is the first recipient of the scholarship.
Michalek is the daughter of Thomas and Lucinda Michalek. She received the award based on her academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular activities and interest in one day attaining a career in agricultural marketing or communications or dairy-related sales. Michalek is a junior majoring in environmental studies and agriscience with a concentration in communications and a specialization in sustainable agriculture and food systems. She aspires to spend her career building bridges of communications between agriculture producers and consumers.
At MSU, Michalek has been an active member of and held officer positions with the MSU Dairy Club, the MSU chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Student Senate. She was a of the Michigan 4-H dairy judging team that placed second overall at the 2010 National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest and earned an invitation to travel to Europe to participate in an International Livestock Judging Tour in 2011. Michalek is a former junior Michigan Dairy Ambassador and was the 4-H livestock judging superintendent at the 2012 Sanilac County 4-H Fair. This past summer, she completed an internship in the promotion and education department at the Michigan Farm Bureau and is currently employed at the MSU Meats Laboratory.
The Nick Bellows Scholarship was established in 2011 by the UDIM board of directors and staff members to recognize Bellows for his two and a half decades of commitment and dedication as the organization's CEO. His record of service included directing the formation of many programs widely lauded as being among the nation's most effective in terms of increasing dairy consumption. Bellows accomplished this by building a solid network of partners from the Michigan business and scientific communities who invested their credibility and financial resources in local dairy promotion programs. Additionally, in order to advance programming at the national level, he shared his time and expertise by serving as chair and committee member of several Dairy Management, Inc. program planning committees.
Bellows was born and raised on a 320-acre centennial dairy farm in Eaton Rapids where his family milked 40 Holsteins. After serving as an Army paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, he earned a bachelor's degree in telecommunications from MSU and a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
The Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than $103,000 in scholarships to 37 MSU students pursuing dairy industry-related programs of study for the 2012-2013 academic year.
For information on making contributions to honor members of the dairy industry or to support student scholarships, please contact the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources External Relations at 517-355-0284. To learn more about the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, contact Dr. Miriam Weber Nielsen in the MSU Department of Animal Science at 517-432-5443.