ISA seeks applicants for crop sciences scholarships for 2012-13 school year

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

October 24, 2011 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) again will offer college scholarships to students interested in studying crop sciences at specific Illinois universities.  Interested applicants will find the program has changed somewhat from the previous program, when applications become available beginning Dec. 1, 2011.

"This will be the third year we have offered college scholarships funded through the soybean checkoff in an effort to continue to attract qualified students to the field and to ultimately fill a need for professionals within the industry," says Dan Farney, soybean farmer from Morton, Ill., and chairman of the ISA Production Committee.  "We had seen a decline in crop sciences enrollment in Illinois, and this is one way soybean farmers can invest in bringing researchers into solid career opportunities that can help us increase soybean production and feed the world."

Program changes include the number of scholarships offered and some of the qualifications for the scholarships.  For 2012-13, ten, $4,000 scholarships will be awarded to students majoring in crop sciences at Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Western Illinois University or the University of Illinois.  All applicants must be students beginning their junior year or transfer students enrolling at one of the approved universities as a junior.  

Students must plan to follow an agricultural course of study with a major in crop production or a crop sciences discipline -- including breeding, biotechnology, plant pathology, weed management or crop management -- with an emphasis on soybeans.  In addition, awardees will be encouraged to find on-campus employment in soybean research and follow a career path that will lead to graduate school and a career in soybean research.  

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of exceptional academic ability, leadership and financial need.  The IAA Foundation will administer the scholarship program on behalf of ISA.  

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to assist ISA in finding and funding the brightest students seeking careers in soybean research," says Susan Moore, IAA Foundation Director.  

Guidelines, applications and an activities template will be available at www.iaafoundation.org, beginning Dec. 1, 2011.  Questions may be directed to the IAA Foundation office at 309-557-2230, or by sending an e-mail to charms-garman@ilfb.org. Completed applications must be postmarked on or before Feb. 1, 2012.  ISA leaders will then interview finalists.  Successful scholarship recipients will be notified by May 1, 2012.

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) is the statewide organization for Illinois soybean growers.  The farmers on its board administer soybean checkoff funds to support research, promotions, and educational programs designed to increase demand for Illinois soybeans and administer legislation and membership programs. For more information, visit: www.ilsoy.org