Thirty-six students from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland and Delaware were awarded a total of $54,000 in college scholarships this spring from America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.
The new program encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 scholarships to support their education. Farmers played a vital role by promoting the opportunity to local students and endorsing their applications.
By participating in the program, farmers are helping to develop new talent for the future of ag. The career paths most frequently cited by this year’s scholarship recipients are agronomy and farming, agricultural education and agricultural science and research. While many of the students come from farming families, some had little or no previous exposure to agriculture, but developed a strong interest in the industry through participation in FFA or other ag-related youth programs.
Recipient Daniel McMillan of Enigma, Georgia, is representative of the students who are selected for Grow Ag Leaders scholarships because of his passion for ag and strong leadership qualities. Farmer Terry Danforth of Lenox, Georgia, endorsed McMillan’s application.
“I watched Daniel grow up assisting his family with their peanut and produce business just down the road from me,” said Danforth. “He is part of a generation that is so important to the future of agriculture. This scholarship will help him further his knowledge and enable him be a positive voice for the industry by providing consumers with information about food production that is commonly misunderstood.”
Grow Ag Leaders scholarships, administered by the National FFA Organization, are available to high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in ag-related fields. Applicants do not have to be FFA members but are required to receive endorsements from at least three local farmers. With support from the Monsanto Fund, more than $500,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students this year.