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The 2023 Colvin Scholarship Fund Awards Future Beef Leaders

Certified Angus Beef awards 23 recipients $81,500 in pursuit of a career in agriculture.  

by Courtney Weekley, CAB Communication Specialist

August 21, 2023

The Colvin Scholarship Fund supports the next generation of leaders in agriculture who are devoting their studies and careers to making the beef industry better. This year, 23 students were awarded $81,500 through the Colvin Scholarship Fund.   

Each Colvin Scholarship Fund recipient strives for a career in production agriculture, industry research or an agricultural pursuit that influences the beef business. The students recognized for this scholarship are carrying the legacy of the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) co-founder and executive director for 22 years, Louis “Mick” Colvin.  

The 24-year-old fund has now reached 144 students with $500,000 in scholarships.  

The recipients recognized are impact leaders who have a strong commitment and passion for the beef industry.    

“We are so impressed by them because they have shown a true, servant leadership heart,” Danielle Matter says, Certified Angus Beef director of brand experience and education. “They will be the industry’s next movers and shakers by impacting on many tiers from agricultural communication to meat science to production agriculture. And we get to support it all.”   

The top recipients in each category were awarded $7,500 with additional scholarships recognizing educational merit and community involvement for production agriculture, undergraduate and graduate students. The 2023 recipients include:  

Production Agriculture Awards:

  • $7,500 – Lizzie Schafer – Butler Community College
  • $5,000 – Karlee Sailer – Dickinson State University
  • $4,000 – Tucker Huseman – West Texas A&M University
  • $3,000 – Justina Slim – Colorado State University
  • $2,000 – Tanner Mickey – University of Illinois
  • $2,000 – Audrey Tarochione – Kansas State University
  • $2,000 – Will Hauerland – West Texas A&M University   

Graduate Awards:

  • $7,500 – Lindsey Decker – Kansas State University   
  • $5,000 – Keayla Harr – Oklahoma State University   
  • $4,000 – Megan Eckhardt – West Texas A&M University  
  • $3,000 – Anna Scott – Oklahoma State University   
  • $2,000 – Anna Kobza – University of Nebraska Lincoln 
  • $2,000 – Jade Edwards – Oklahoma State University   

Undergraduate Awards:

  • $7,500 – Ava Perrier – Kansas State University   
  • $5,000 – Bailee Schiefelbein – Oklahoma State University   
  • $4,000 – Madison Bemisderfer – The Pennsylvania State University   
  • $3,000 – Clay Pelton – Kansas State University   
  • $2,500 – Alexis Lake – Oklahoma State University   
  • $2,500 – Nikki Keeton – Texas Tech University   
  • $2,000 – Amelia Miller – Texas A&M University   
  • $2,000 – Katelyn Engel – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign   
  • $2,000 – Chloe Hamaker – West Texas A&M University  
  • $2,000 – James Ulmer – Clemson University   

All applicants were asked how they would strive to better serve the beef industry. They each expressed their desired role to grow the brand’s reputation through their education and studies.  

Influenced by 15 years in the beef industry is top graduate scholarship winner, Lindsey Decker. The Kansas State University student focuses on thawing methods in meat science research. She wanted to see the effect on the eating quality of steaks after various thawing methods.   

“This study providesinformation to allow purchasers of frozen beef products to obtain the best overall eating experience, in turn continuing to create a high demand for beef,” Decker says.  

Decker graduates in Dec. 2023 and will pursue a Ph.D. at Texas Tech University. Her goal? To educate students through her research in meat science and the beef industry.  

Ava Perrier, top undergraduate scholarship winner and student at Kansas State University, also shares a similar passion. She expressed how relating consumers with beef production is an important communication and marketing tool.   

“I truly believe the Certified Angus Beef program and its producers are on the right track,” Perrier says. “Sharing feature stories and videos of families who raise the Certified Angus Beef® brand is a very important part of building beef demand. Consumers want to be able to relate to the people raising their food, so showing parts of ranchers’ real lives is one of the best things to share on social media.”  

Alexandria Cozzitorto and Forest Francis at Certified Angus Beef’s Annual Conference holding an item for the Colvin Scholarship auction.

Lizzie Schafer, top production agriculture recipient, was three years old when she took her very first steps in the livestock industry. After that, she’s had immense involvement and a life passion for the production agriculture industry.   

After studying animal science and agricultural communication at Butler Community College, Schafer has big plans to take her family farm to the next level.  

“I hope to come back to the family farm and continue my family legacy, continue creating food for the growing population and expand Farm Family Meats into a corporation,” Schafer says. “While farming and running my business, I plan to showcase what I do on a daily basis through promotional videos, encouraging articles and daily social media posts. By becoming a writer and broadcaster within the agriculture industry, I hope to promote the dedicated farmers and ranchers who work hard to feed families around the globe.” 

2022 scholarship recipients Alexandria Cozzitorto and Forest Francis with Virginia and Mick Colvin at the 2022 golf outing for Colvin Scholarship fundraiser in Phoenix, Arizona.

Top award winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to the CAB Annual Conference. Recipients get the opportunity to network with leaders in the beef industry and share their story.   

The largest fundraisers for this fund are auctions and a golf tournament held at the brand’s Annual Conference in September. Generous donation efforts from partners help the brand’s growing contributions to the Colvin Scholarship Fund.   

“This is all credited to our partners and committee members,” Matter says. “It’s humbling to see how everyone involved chose this to be near and dear to their hearts.”   

 Tim Hussman, a Colvin Scholarship Fund committee member, was the first full time employee that Colvin hired at Certified Angus Beef. After retiring in 2018 as president of the specialty meat division for Sysco, he now serves on the Colvin Scholarship Fund selection committee.   

Hussman shares his excitement for the positive influence this fund has on the next generation of beef industry leaders.  

“In the spirit of Mick Colvin, I hope this scholarship continues to grow,” he says. “I think this is just the beginning and we were really excited to see the level of talent and interest. The more we can grow, the more interested students can benefit from the scholarship. I’m happy to give back and bring more young people into the industry.”   

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