Dairy Farmers of Washington Honor Future Leaders

The Dairy Farmers of Washington awarded $1,000 community achievement scholarships to two high schools seniors. Travis Lenssen and Loryn Casey each received awards for their involvement in 4-H or FFA dairy programs and commitment to the dairy community. This scholarship program began this year with a goal to recognize graduating seniors who exhibit excellence in academics, leadership, passion for the dairy community and community service. 

Travis Lenssen

Hometown: Lynden

Years involved in 4-H and FFA: 10 years (4-H), 3 years (FFA)

High School: Lynden High

University: Washington State University

Major: Animal Science, pre-veterinary medicine

Travis has deep family roots in the dairy farming community and is thankful for the opportunities and the lifestyle dairy has given him.

He plans to attend Washington State University in the fall to pursue a degree in animal science, pre-veterinary medicine, with hopes of becoming a large animal veterinarian. He has spent hours working on farms and riding with the local vet. An enthusiastic leader and eager to serve he credits his success to all the time spent working on the farm and in the show ring with his Guernsey cows.

He hopes the lessons learned in 4-H and FFA will help him achieve his academic goals.

“To me, [dairy] means a passion, a way of life and a way of taking care of the world.” he said. “I was raised showing cows and have really developed a passion for dairy by doing so. Dairy also means a way of life to me. Dairy farmers devote every minute of their day to something dairy related to ensure the consumer can get that dairy product on demand in the store as we all expect.”

“My passion for dairy has multiplied through not giving up. I have a long road ahead of me in order to reach my goal of becoming a veterinarian, but if I don't give up I know I will succeed, just like I have in 4-H and FFA. This lesson will always be handy to me because I need to never give up, and always work through problems to the best of my ability. After all, if you give up, you'll never grow.”

Loryn Casey

Hometown: Monroe

Years involved in 4-H and FFA: 7 years (4-H), 4 years (FFA)

High School: Snohomish High

University: Oregon State University

Major: BioHealth Sciences

Loryn, a first generation dairy farmer, fell in love with cows from the start. She started her own small herd when she purchased her first calf, named Angel, at the age of 10 with her own money. Since then dairy farming has been a huge part of her life.

She plans to study BioHealth Sciences at Oregon State University this fall and hopes to eventually pursue her Doctorate after that. Dairy has many important elements in her life, from taking care of her small herd of Jerseys to refueling with chocolate milk after a workout, she can’t imagine her life without dairy.

As a roller derby athlete competing in national and international tournaments, dairy is a crucial part of her diet, but she knows none of it would be possible without her cows. Her animals are the center of everything. She holds a special place in her heart for her first calf, Angel.

“I grew up with her... Angel is the one that comes when she’s called, never fusses about putting her halter on and has been there for me through many trials.  My relationship with Angel is, without exception, the most important thing to me about dairy.”