Chobani increased its scholarship program by additional $1m to support students in agriculture

Chobani increased its scholarship program by additional $1m to support students in agriculture

January 21 - 2022

Coffee Geography Magazine

Chobani announced an expansion of its Scholars Program, adding a pledge of $1 million dollars and a focus on supporting historically under served students who wish to pursue a broad set of agricultural interests. The program has helped dozens of university students pursue their ambitions in the dairy industry. That mission now includes creating a more equitable future in agriculture.

Chobani is an American food company specializing in strained yogurt. The company was founded in 2005 by Hamdi Ulukaya,a Turkish businessman.Chobani sells thick, Greek-style yogurt with a higher protein content than traditional yogurt and is one of the main companies to popularize this style of yogurt in the US. The company has also expanded to non-dairy, plant-based products such as dairy-free vegan yogurt, oat milk and coffee. Chobani's yogurt's market share in the U.S. rose from less than 1% in 2007 to more than 20% in 2021, and is the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the United States and operates the largest yogurt facility in the world.

Through its partnerships with Cornell University and the University of Idaho, the Chobani Scholars Program will offer eight $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 each year) over five years to historically under served 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. Chobani Scholars will have an opportunity to intern with Chobani during their college careers. In prior years the program was limited to students from a dairy background who were pursuing a career in dairy.

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"Today's announcement builds on our mission to help ensure opportunities for students from under served 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."

Peter McGuinness, Chobani President and Chief Operating Officer

Peter McGuinness, Chobani President and Chief Operating Officer

The Chobani Scholars program was established at Cornell University and University of Idaho in 2018. The grants have helped more than two dozen students attending Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). With today's announcement, Chobani's scholarship funding pledge will total more than $1.4 million by 2027. 

"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 Cornell University's 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."


"The Chobani Scholars program provides an incredible opportunity to Idaho students who otherwise may not be able to attend college," said Michael Parrella, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. "We are grateful for our strong partnership with Chobani and their passion for creating a pathway for Idahoans from underrepresented communities who wish to pursue a career in agriculture."

Chobani is a food maker with a mission of making high-quality and nutritious food accessible to more people, while elevating our communities and making the world a healthier place. In short: making good food for all.  In support of this mission, the company is a values-driven, people-first, food-and-wellness-focused company, and have been since Hamdi Ulukaya, an immigrant to the U.S., founded the company in 2005.  It produces yogurt, oat milk, dairy- and plant-based creamers, ready-to-drink coffee and plant-based probiotic drinks. Chobani yogurt is America's No.1 yogurt brand, and it's made with only natural ingredients without artificial preservatives.

Chobani uses food as a force for good in the world – putting humanity first in everything we do. The philanthropic efforts prioritize giving back to communities and beyond: working to eradicate child hunger, supporting immigrants, refugees and underrepresented people, honoring veterans, and protecting the planet. It manufactures products in New York, Idaho, and Australia. Its products are available throughout North America and distributed in Australia and other select markets.