Iowa State University's College of Agriculture has established a scholarship named for a long-time dairy scientist and department head at the university.

The Verba S. and Verner H. Nielsen scholarship will be available to Iowa State University undergraduate and graduate students beginning in the fall of 2001.

Students who pursue degrees in food science and human nutrition will be given preference for the annual $1,250 scholarship, although all students with majors in the College of Agriculture will be eligible. A $25,000 endowment was established at ISU after Nielsen's death in 1998.

Verner Nielsen was a professor emeritus and head of the department of dairy and food technology at ISU from 1958 to 1974. Nielsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and received a portion of his education in the Danish dairy industry before immigrating to the United States in 1932. He worked in the dairy industry department at ISU while attending school and earned the highest grade point average in his graduating class of 1943.

Nielsen received his PhD in dairy chemistry in 1953, joined ISU's faculty in 1954 and was instrumental in consolidating Iowa milk marketing and dairy processing organizations. He also was part of the team that developed a process used to produce Maytag Blue cheese. Nielsen retired from ISU in 1980 and died at the age of 88. The scholarship also honors Verner's wife, Verba, who died in 1995.

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