The Central Plains Dairy Foundation is accepting applications for the Lon and Kathy Tonneson Dairy Leadership Scholarship, Central Plains Dairy Foundation Dairy Scholarships Grant, and Dairy Innovators Grant.

Established in 2019 by Tracey and Brian Erickson, the Lon and Kathy Tonneson Dairy Leadership Scholarship honors Lon and Kathy for their dedication to growing the dairy industry. Students who have completed at least one semester in a post-secondary college or university, pursuing a degree in agriculture with an emphasis in agriculture communication and/or leadership are eligible for this scholarship. Preference will be given to applicants in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The CPDF Dairy Scholarships Grant program is available to organizations and schools wishing to provide scholarships to dairy students. Students must be attending a two or four-year college that offers one or more dairy education programs. This grant and subsequent scholarships are intended for up and coming young leaders in the dairy industry. Awardees must attend a post-secondary school in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota.

The Dairy Innovators Grant was created as a funding source for nonprofit organizations leading the way in providing innovative programs and solutions to challenges facing the people of dairy and the future of the industry. The CPDF looks for projects addressing economic development, community development, workforce development, or industry promotional need that are inclusive, collaborative, and effective. Grant awards range from $500 to $10,000 and will be awarded to projects focusing on Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota.

“Agriculture is at the core of who we are in the Midwest,” says Chris Maxwell, executive director of the Central Plains Dairy Foundation. “We created these scholarships and grant programs to support up and coming leaders in the dairy industry as well as offer momentum to unique and innovative initiatives."

Applications must be submitted by the following dates:

• Lon and Kathy Tonneson Scholarship—Dec. 7, 2020;

• CPDF Scholarships Grant—Dec. 7, 2020; and

• Dairy Innovators Grant—January 2021.

More information about the scholarship and grant programs and applications are available online at

For additional information about the Central Plains Dairy Foundation, call 605-412-8403 or email

The Central Plains Dairy Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 organization committed to investing in proactive programming to support the dairy industry along the I-29 corridor in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.

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