An unexpected donation from the late Stephen Flanagan has provided $1.3 million to support Miner Institute’s education programs. The donation established a scholarship fund that will support two students enrolled in Miner Institute education programs each year. The scholarships will be named after Mr. Flanagan and his parents, Stephen S. Flanagan and Frances B. Flanagan.
William Miner stated in 1915 that “no other occupation is so vitally important to the human race nor requires such a wide range of practical and technical knowledge as farming.” It seems that Mr. Flanagan agreed as his generous contribution to Miner Institute will help to educate generations of agriculture students. Graduates of Miner Institute’s programs have gone on to jobs in industry, academia, farm management positions, as well as graduate school and veterinary school.
Stephen Flanagan was a lifelong farmer who owned and operated Sunshine Dairy Farm until 1972 and thereafter continued to raise beef cattle on his Rugar Street Farm in Plattsburgh. He was also influential in the creation of the Antique Farm and Home Museum at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. Mr. Flanagan wanted to ensure that deserving young people would have an opportunity to study the science of food production and enjoy farming as much as he had. Mr. Flanagan passed away in November 2014 at the age of 86.
Emma Duffy is the year-long dairy intern and the first recipient of the Flanagan scholarship. Emma is from just outside of Boston, MA and a graduate of the University of Vermont, having studied animal science there. She is enjoying the opportunity to learn and work at Miner Institute. She started her year-long post in January 2016.
Emma did not grow up on a farm, but has always been interested in horses. While at UVM, she decided to participate in the university’s student-run dairy herd, known as the Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) program. She thought it would look good on her resume when she applied for vet school. “CREAM helped open my eyes to other opportunities,” Emma said. After graduating from UVM, Emma worked on a Vermont dairy farm for two years. She learned about the position at Miner Institute through some friends who had participated in the Advanced Dairy Management program at Miner Institute. Her friends encouraged her to apply.
Emma says that she likes her role here. She works closely with Anna Pape, Miner Institute’s herdsperson. Emma said she enjoys working with the vet on herd health checks and breeding management. She likes being able to witness the progress the animals make and following up on veterinarian recommendations for animal health. She says that she really enjoys the day-to-day animal care aspects of dairy farm management.
Emma said that she hasn’t totally ruled out vet school, but she is “more open to other avenues.” Her time at Miner Institute has helped her to realize that she can have a lot of impact on the industry without being a dairy vet, she said.