Megan Abeyta, animal science graduate student working with professor Lance Baumgard, was recently awarded the 2021-2022 John Brandt Memorial Scholarship through the Land O’ Lakes Inc. Foundation. This generous $25,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student pursuing a dairy-related degree.
Abeyta’s research work is important to understanding how dairy cow nutrition can alter animal health which provides an opportunity to challenge some important nutritional beliefs in the dairy industry today.
“Megan is a very deserving recipient of this incredibly prestigious and competitive award. Her research is focused on hind-gut acidosis and its consequences to systemic inflammation and producer relevant outcomes. Megan is the third graduate student from Iowa State’s dairy program to have won the award since 2015 and she’ll be a fantastic ambassador to continue John Brandt’s legacy and commitment to the dairy industry,” said Lance Baumgard, Norman L. Jacobson Endowed Professor in Dairy Nutrition.
Megan originally grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado with little to no agricultural experience prior to her junior year of high school where she had an internship at Ewe Bet Sheep Ranch. Megan obtained her bachelor’s degree in animal science at Iowa State University in 2017 after which she joined Baumgard’s lab group as a PhD student.
“I love working with dairy cows and have developed a passion for improving our understanding of dairy cow physiology. I’m excited to see what the next step in my career will be after the completion of my PhD,” said Abeyta.
The John Brandt Memorial Scholarship Program was created in 1953 by the namesake’s family and friends to honor his memory and assist aspiring graduate students ensure a bright future for the dairy industry. John Brandt was an organizer and president of Land O’Lakes from 1923 until his death in 1953. He established himself as an indelible figure in Land O’Lakes lore by selling 40 million pounds of LAND O LAKES Butter on a sales trip throughout the East Coast. His efforts ushered in a new system of selling and shipping butter directly to retailers, thus bypassing middlemen and increasing profits for Midwest dairy producers.