Yamaha Announces Second Annual Ag-Comm Scholarship Winners

CYPRESS, Calif. – May 18, 2010 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has named the recipients of its second annual Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program. The University of Florida Chapter of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) has received its second straight chapter award, while Kelsey Fletcher of Texas Tech University and Hailey Harroun of Oklahoma State University both earned individual scholarships. As recipients of the individual scholarships, both Fletcher and Harroun will also have the opportunity to serve as interns for Yamaha during the 2010 Ag Media Summit.

Yamaha’s scholarship program was launched in 2009 to provide financial assistance to members of the ACT, a national college student association with 354 registered members located on 17 college and university campuses across the country. ACT’s mission of fostering professional development is at the core of the new Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program.

The Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program is broken out into two individual student scholarships and one chapter scholarship. All three awards are aimed at helping students attend the annual Agricultural Media Summit (AMS). As the largest gathering of crop and livestock media professionals in the country hosted by the Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) and the Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the AMS is the ACT’s primary career development networking opportunity for these students each year.

As part of the application process, students were asked to incorporate important ATV and Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicle safety messages within an appropriate real life farming/agricultural scenario into practical communications pieces such as a feature story, brochure or press release. This part of the application was meant to demonstrate the students’ quality of work, and also to seed safety messages that they can carry throughout their careers as professional communicators.

“Yamaha congratulates each of the recipients of our Second Annual Yamaha-ACT Scholarship program, and we are proud to assist them in their pursuit of a career in agricultural communications,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV and SxS group marketing manager. “We hope our application process allowed these ACT students to educate themselves on safe, responsible off-road vehicle use and how they can continue to communicate these messages in their future professions.”

“Yamaha's scholarship program provides funding for agricultural communications student members of ACT, enabling the students to experience professional career development opportunities that may have previously been out of reach financially,” said Jeff Miller, professor of agricultural communications at the University of Arkansas and national adviser of ACT. “The program also offers a unique way for students to exercise and display their skills and for Yamaha to communicate its key messages related to safety to the next generation of agricultural journalists and communicators.”

Applicants were judged based on merit, need and quality of submission materials by a review committee consisting of Yamaha employees; AAEA President and Director of Communications at Iowa Soybean Association, Karen Simon; Livestock Publications Council President and Senior Director at The American Quarter Horse Journal, Jim Bret Campbell; and Christy Couch Lee, owner of Cee Lee Communications.

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