America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders launches in Illinois
Scholarship program promotes careers in
agriculture across 40 states
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[November 12, 2014]
LOUIS – America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders is now launching in 40
states, with more than $500,000 worth of scholarships available.
Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program provides $1,500 college
scholarships to students pursuing a degree related to agriculture.
Starting Nov. 15, high school seniors and college students in
Illinois and other eligible states can apply for this opportunity.
Farmers know the rewards of a career in agriculture,
but many of today’s youth may not. Luckily, there is an abundance of
evidence that agriculture is a smart career choice. According to the
USDA, nearly 55,000 jobs in agriculture are available every year.
Many of the nation’s largest land-grant institutions, such as Penn
State and Texas A&M University, report job placement rates above 90%
for their ag students.
Grow Ag Leaders helps engage future generations in agriculture by
raising awareness of the broad range of career opportunities in the
industry and by supporting their college education. The program was
created in response to farmer requests to keep rural youth involved
in agriculture. Farmers can participate in the program by
encouraging students in their community to apply for a scholarship
and by endorsing their application. Because farmers play a crucial
role in the industry, each applicant is required to obtain
endorsements from at least three local farmers.
“We want to encourage ambitious and talented students to pursue
careers in this growing field,” said Elizabeth Vancil, Youth and
Community Outreach manager at Monsanto. “As students who grew up in
rural areas learn more about what agriculture has become, they are
realizing that it is a fascinating, hi-tech industry, with job
growth, job security, and high wages. These young people are seeing
that there are emerging opportunities for a new generation of
innovative young farmers, engineers, implement designers, marketing
specialists and seed scientists.”
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Grow Ag Leaders is part of the overall America's Farmers
campaign, which highlights the vital role played by farmers,
through programs designed to support rural communities. Farmers
interested in promoting the program and endorsing students’
scholarship applications can learn how at GrowAgLeaders.com. The
scholarships are administered by the National FFA Organization,
but FFA membership is not required to apply. Students have until
February 1, 2015 to complete the application online at FFA.org/scholarships.
[Emily Hereford, Osborn Barr]