WIU offers new scholarship opportunities to students
Western Illinois University students interested in pursuing careers in crop sciences will now have a new scholarship opportunity through an agreement between the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and Western. Finalized on the WIU campus Dec. 15, the scholarship is designed to encourage, support and award students interested in a future career in the area of crop production.
"Our goal is to invest in a program that supports students interested in crop sciences and who can ultimately fill much-needed industry positions. Global population growth is going to create greater demand for food and a greater need to produce more food per acre," said Ron Moore, ISA chairman and a soybean farmer from Roseville (IL). "Students often overlook what can be exciting and well-paying career opportunities in crop sciences. We hope to help attract talented young people to address the challenge of feeding the world."
Crop sciences job opportunities include crop production specialists who provide field consultation to plant breeders and scientists who use biotechnology and molecular techniques to develop new genetic traits for soybean growth and end products.
"We are pleased to partner with ISA to support the training of new crop scientists to be involved in soybean research and production," said WIU School of Agriculture Director William Bailey. "At present, the pool of trained crop scientists is depleted. WIU and the ISA are going to combat this trend."
ISA will invest $40,000 in education of future plant researchers over the next four years. Scholarships will be available to new freshman and transfer agriculture science majors with minors in agronomy or plant breeding.
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. In 2006, ISA awarded $300,000 to WIU's School of Agriculture to provide support for soybean related research and education.
ISA Crop Production Scholarships will be available for the 2011-12 academic year. For more information and scholarship applications, contact the WIU School of Agriculture at (309) 298-1080.