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/.