2017 Leonard A. Gentine Scholars

The Leonard A. Gentine Scholarship began in 1984 to help exemplary high school graduates with college tuition.  Leonard wanted to ensure our industry would thrive, so he began the scholarship to support students entering the fields of Dairy Science, Food Science and Business.  Since then, 107 high schoolers have earned the prestigious award.

The scholarship grew along with our company, starting with students in the Plymouth school district, now extending to students in Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, Kiel and Hilbert school districts.  To qualify for the 4-year grant, students must excel in academics, extracurricular activities and demonstrate leadership.  Each recipient is selected during a blind process, in which only their school transcripts and personal essays speak on their behalf.  This year, five students earned the award from the Gentine Family Foundation, honoring Leonard’s commitment to education.

Congratulations! Meet the recipients below.


Allison Gruett – Hilbert High School

Allison has worked at her family business since she was in the eighth grade doing inventory, grounds keeping and updating the computer system.  Her work ethic translates into her academics as she has been on the honor roll throughout high school.  With a 3.8 cumulative G.P.A., Allison is a member of the National Honor Society, on student government and on the volleyball team. She volunteers in her community at St. Vincent De Paul’s, tutors fourth graders in math and she is active in her church.  Allison will attend UW-Whitewater in the fall where she will pursue a degree in business.  She hopes to open her own business one day in Calumet County.


Kaylee Koenig – Plymouth High School

Kaylee takes pride in her “drive to help others.”  She has been on two mission trips in St. Louis, MO and Virginia Beach, VA to help elderly women with gardening, building wheelchair ramps and volunteering at their local St. Vincent De Paul stores. Her family hosted a foreign exchange student from Colombia, who she says introduced her to a new culture and sparked her interest in international affairs.  With a 3.98 cumulative G.P.A., Kaylee graduated Magna Cum Laude as a member of the National Honor Society and the Business National Honor Society. She is also a member of the ‘Future Business Leaders of America’ and captain of a youth soccer club.  She was accepted to four schools including, UW-Madison, the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa. Kaylee will attend UW-Whitewater in the fall to pursue a degree in International Business.  She speaks Spanish and plans to study abroad.


Lydia Luebke – Kiel High School

Lydia’s goal in life is to be a “large animal veterinarian, being financially independent and staying close to family.”  She has a plan for her career and is determined to be a licensed veterinarian in seven years.  She will attend UW-Sheboygan in the fall and transfer to the UW-River Falls Animal Science program.  This path will lead to her ultimate goal which is to earn a doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine from UW-Madison. She already works with large animals on her family’s dairy farm.  She goes on “ride-alongs” with local veterinarians during their daily calls whenever she can.  Lydia has been balancing her own checkbook since third grade and appreciates how this scholarship will help keep her “debt load as small as possible.” Lydia graduated Summa Cum Laude with a G.P.A. of 3.70. She is the president of the Kiel Future Farmers of America (FFA) and the local 4-H club.


Jessica Mehre – Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School

Jessica credits her success in high school to “initiative and ingenuity.”  Her life on a small dairy farm nurtured these traits and taught her the importance of work and dedication.  She is a third-generation dairy farmer and says she has watched her father pour all that he is into their farm and would like to follow his footsteps.  Five years from now, she envisions herself waking up in Ithaca, NY as a graduate student at Cornell University.  There she will earn her Ph.D. in Animal Science, after earning two bachelor’s degrees in Dairy Science and Agronomy from UW-Madison where she will attend this fall.  Jessica would like to become a scientist or a professor and she is well on her way.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a G.P.A. of 3.99.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Future Farmers of America, the varsity cross country team, American Field Service and jazz band just to name a few.


Derek Schweiger – Plymouth High School

Derek says his ability to be collaborative has been one of his greatest assets in high school.  This ability has given him leadership skills and helped him be an effective communicator. Derek leads by example and was voted captain of teams in football and basketball.  He says working hard and being fair are key to success and will help him as a pursues degrees in Food Science and Chemistry at Iowa State University in the fall. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 G.P.A. Derek has been active in student government, sports, the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and ‘Future Business Leaders of America.’  He’s a member of the Math Team and tutors children in math and science while coaching youth sports.  While maintaining his grades, Derek works as a cook at a local restaurant, a site coordinator for the YMCA and a scorekeeper for the Plymouth School District.