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Chobani has announced changes to its successful Chobani Scholars Program, adding a pledge of $1 million and a focus on supporting historically underserved students who wish to pursue a broad set of agricultural interests.

In prior years, scholarships were limited to students from a dairy background who were pursuing a career in dairy. By shifting its focus, company officials say, the program expands its mission to create a more equitable future in agriculture.

“Today’s announcement builds on our mission to help ensure opportunities for students from underserved communities with an interest in working on a farm or in agribusiness, in food science, and those who want to start a food business,” said Peter McGuinness, Chobani President and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re proud to be supporting dozens of current students in our home states of Idaho and New York, and we’re thrilled to be expanding the Chobani Scholars program.”

Chobani established the Chobani Scholars Program at Cornell and the University of Idaho in 2018. To continue funding these scholarships, Chobani has pledged $500,000 to each university over five years, bringing its total commitment to more than $1.4 million by 2027. The program will offer eight annual $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year) to historically underserved students interested in studying agriculture, dairy, food science and/or food entrepreneurship. Chobani will also provide $20,000 of annual funding to each of the universities during the same time period to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training and education. In addition, student scholars will have an opportunity to intern with Chobani during their college careers.

“Since its inception, the Chobani Scholars Program has provided substantial support to students from New York farm families, helping them to access world-class education and real-world experiences in dairy science and management,” said Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “With this latest investment, Cornell CALS is excited to further enhance our efforts to attract students from underrepresented backgrounds to careers in food and agriculture, which is a critical need for our state. We are grateful to Chobani for their ongoing generosity and for bolstering our programs to train the next generation of leaders in agriculture, dairy, food science and food entrepreneurship.”

To date, two cohorts of four Cornell CALS students have been announced in 2020 and 2021, and a new cohort of four animal science or food sciences students from New York will be announced in June.

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