Six students awarded grants to pursue careers in agriculture
TAMPA, FL – Along with the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), BASF U.S. Crop Protection announced the winners of six scholarships during the 2011 Commodity Classic in Tampa, Florida. The scholarship recipients are committed to becoming leaders in the field of agriculture and are pursuing industry-related studies in colleges across America. This is the fourth year for both scholarship programs.
“BASF is dedicated to providing the next generation of agricultural industry leaders with resources to further their education and advance the agriculture industry,” said Paul Rea, Vice President, U.S. Crop Protection, BASF. “Together with the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association, we’re happy to support future leaders in agriculture through scholarships. We are very impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of this year’s recipients and honored to help them pursue their dreams of working in agriculture.”
The 2011-2012 ASA Secure Optimal Yield (SOY) Scholarship is a $5,000 award presented to an outstanding high school senior, who has achieved high academic and leadership requirements, and is planning to pursue agriculture as a degree area of study at any accredited college or university of their choosing.
Kevin Berkland, a high school senior from Sibley, Iowa, was named the 2011-2012 ASA SOY scholarship recipient. A nine-year member of the Iowa/Osceola County 4-H club and the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA, Berkland has held offices such as president and received numerous awards for his work in diversified agricultural production practices. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, president of his junior and senior classes, active in varsity sports, and works as a veterinary assistant for the Sibley Veterinary Clinic. Berkland plans to study microbiology at Iowa State University beginning next year.
“ASA recognizes the value of supporting future leaders in agriculture and we commend BASF for partnering with us to provide scholarships to outstanding students who plan to pursue agriculture. These awards help shape the future of farming,” said Alan Kemper, ASA President, a producer from Lafayette, Indiana.
Past Scholarship Recipients include:
- Laura Stevens, Falls City, Nebraska, a junior at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
- Brent Larson, Canby, Minnesota, a sophomore at South Dakota State University.
- Ben Bellar, Howard, Kansas, a freshman at Kansas State University.
“As an active member in 4-H and Future Farmers of America, I have developed a strong interest in different agricultural production practices,” Berkland said. “This scholarship will provide me the resources I need to jump-start my education towards a career in a field I’m very passionate about.”
As part of the scholarship package, Berkland is also attending Commodity Classic and will receive special recognition during the ASA awards banquet. The scholarship is offered and managed by the ASA and is made possible through a grant by BASF.
In partnership with BASF, the NCGA Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program awarded five $1,000 scholarships during the 2011 Commodity Classic to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field. Winners also received a trip to Commodity Classic and special recognition during the NCGA awards banquet.
“Supporting passionate agriculture students is a commitment that the NCGA takes very seriously,” said Pam Johnson, a Corn Board member and liaison to the Grower Services Action Team. “Providing students with the financial resources to complete their education is the key to building strong agricultural leaders of tomorrow. We thank BASF for its integral role and support in these scholarships. Together we are laying the foundation for future industry success.”
Recipients of the NCGA scholarship include:
- Hayley Bunselmeyer of Urbana, Illinois – Bunselmeyer is a junior at the University of Illinois majoring in crop sciences.
- Kristin DeSutter of Champaign, Illinois – DeSutter is a junior at the University of Illinois pursuing agricultural communications.
- Amy Peyton of Sac City, Iowa – Peyton is a junior at Iowa State University majoring in agricultural business, economics, and public service and administration.
- Andy Pringnitz of Spirit Lake, Iowa – Pringnitz is a junior at Iowa State University studying agricultural business, economics and international agriculture.
- Jessica Schwartz of Farmdale, Ohio – Schwartz is a first-year graduate student at Ohio State University specializing in horticulture and crop sciences.
“Support from organizations like the NCGA and BASF are so important to the future of agriculture,” said scholarship recipient Hayley Bunselmeyer. “This scholarship will help provide the resources I need to be successful in school and future endeavors.”
For more information about the industry initiatives BASF supports or the BASF Crop Protection portfolio of products, visit http://agproducts.basf.us/.
About the Crop Protection division
With sales of €3.6 billion in 2009, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at www.agro.basf.com.