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American Farm Publications Scholarship Essay

Those born with green thumbs but limited funds are likely to grasp how agricultural scholarships are figurative goldmines that can provide fulfillment of lifelong dreams. Bright scholars of modest means with a love of the earth might be amazed at how such gifts can grant their career goals.

Some of the careers available to the earner of a degree in agriculture are water quality specialist, food chemist or technician, USDA inspector, agribusiness manager, natural resources manager, agriscientist, horticulturist, forest ranger, fisheries and wildlife warden and veterinarian.

Aspiring students with high potential but low bank balances are well advised to look closely at the list of agricultural scholarships below.

1. National Beef Ambassador Program

Deadline: Contact sponsor

American National Cattlewomen Foundation, Inc. cosponsors this annual competition that offers cash prizes of $1,000 to each of five national finalists. Junior Division contestants must be 12 to 16 years of age by September 1st of the contest year. Senior Division contestants must be 17 to 20 years of age by September 1st of the contest year. All entrants must first compete on a state level by giving public speeches and media interviews about beef nutrition, safety and production. Each state chapter may select one Senior Division and an unlimited number of Junior Division winners for national competition entry.

National Beef Ambassador Program
Sarah J. Bohnenkamp, Project Manager
Phone: 303‐850‐3440

2. A.W. Bodine-Sunkist Memorial Scholarship Program

Deadline: April 30

Since 1985, Sunkist has been helping worthy students attain higher education, many of whom were the first member of their family to attend college. Annual awards have historically been about $2,000 and may be renewed for up to four years, provided recipients maintain full-time enrollment and a minimum GPA of 2.75.

Applicants must be undergraduate students majoring in any field at any institution with demonstrated academic ability and financial need. Candidates must also have or be related to an immediate family member with a history of involvement in California or Arizona agriculture.

A.W. Bodine-Sunkist Memorial Scholarship Program
Joan Mason, Administrator
P.O. Box 7888
Van Nuys, CA 91409

3. AFA National Leader and Academic Scholarship

Deadline: March 14

American Future of Agriculture makes 25 to 30 annual awards to students pursuing careers in U.S. agriculture. Applicants must be enrolled in or accepted by a four-year agriculture-related degree program, have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be a U.S. citizen. Influential selections factors in order of relative significance are career goals, leadership potential, community involvement and financial need.

AFA National Leader and Academic Scholarship
Derek Mulhern
P.O. Box 414838
Kansas City, MO 64141
Phone: (888) 472-4232

4. Agribusiness Association of Kentucky Agricultural Scholarship

Deadline: June 1

ABAK makes annual awards of $1,000 to acknowledge and assist Kentucky agricultural students. Applicants must be Kentucky residents, enrolled in or accepted by an undergraduate postsecondary school and declare an agricultural major.

Agribusiness Association of Kentucky Agricultural Scholarship
512 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Download an application at

5. Alpha Gamma Rho Dairy Scholarship

Deadline: March 31

AGR fraternity administers this fund sponsored by Ole Meland that makes annual an award of $500 to an undergraduate AGR frat.

Applicants must be majoring in dairy science, dairy husbandry, or animal science or animal husbandry with a dairy emphasis. Candidates must also exhibit high levels of academic excellence and personal integrity. Students who attend Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo are preferred.

Alpha Gamma Rho Dairy Scholarship
Educational Foundation of AGR
10101 NW Ambassador Drive
Kansas City, MO 64153
Phone: 816-891-9200 ext. 21

6. Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program

Deadline: December 2
Open date: October 1

As sustainable and organic agriculture is the heart of all its activities and purpose of existence, Annie’s Homegrown makes annual awards to students interested in sustainable agriculture careers.

Applicants must be pursuing degrees in organic or sustainable agriculture fields and demonstrate exceptional scholarship in addition to agricultural activities involvement. Although no specific amount is stated, awards have historically ranged between $2,500 and $10,000.

Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program
564 Gateway Drive
Napa, CA 94558
Phone: 800-288-1089

7. ASEV Scholarships

Deadline: March 1

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture makes numerous annual awards to students pursuing degrees in viticulture, enology or related curricula with emphases on sciences essential to the wine and grape industry.

Applicants must be full-time North American undergraduate or graduate students. Undergraduates must be juniors or seniors by upcoming academic year who have completed 45 semester hours or 60 quarter hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Graduate students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA.

ASEV Scholarships
P.O. Box 1855
Davis, CA 95617
Phone: (530) 753-3142

8. Beef Industry Scholarship

Deadline: December 13

The National Cattlemen’s Foundation makes annual awards to students with high potential for career success in the beef industry. To honor its 25th birthday, this fund will make 25 awards of $1,000 for the academic year of 2014-2015.

Applicants must be graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students during the academic year of award and major in an education, research, production, communications or other fields related to the beef industry.

Chosen recipients may reapply and all candidates must submit essays that describe a proposed management strategy for a risk faced by the beef industry. Essay quality has a 70 percent influence on award selections.

Beef Industry Scholarship
National Cattlemen’s Foundation
9110 East Nichols Avenue, Suite 300
Centennial, CO 80112
Phone: 303-694-0305

9. Benjamin C Blackburn Scholarship

Deadline: April 4

Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum sponsors this memorial scholarship that makes annual awards of $2,500 to horticultural students at County College of Morris, NJ.

Applicants must be New Jersey residents enrolled in the County College of Morris Landscape and Horticultural Technology program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Benjamin C Blackburn Scholarship
Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum
353 East Hanover Avenue
PO Box 1295
Morristown, NJ 07962
Download an application at

10. BRIDGE Endowment Fund FFA Scholarship

Deadline: February 1

Future Farmers of America administers this scholarship that awards $5,000 to help physically challenged or disabled members pursue postsecondary degrees in agriculture.

Applicants must be current FFA members who are high school seniors on application date and have a physical disability or handicap. Documentation of the last criterion may be required and all recipients must major in a degree program within the agricultural field.

BRIDGE Endowment Fund FFA Scholarship
The National FFA Organization
PO Box 68960
Indianapolis, IN 46268

11. Central Florida Orchid Society Scholarship

Deadline: February 15

The Central Florida Orchid Society makes a $3,000 award annually to encourage educational pursuits in horticulture, agriculture and life sciences.

Applicants must major in horticulture sciences or production, agricultural or biological engineering, botany, entomology and nematology, landscaping and nursery horticulture, plant science, agronomy or plant pathology. Additional requirements include full-time attendance at an accredited institution, U.S. citizenship, above average GPA and an associate’s or higher degree by the upcoming fall session. Candidates must also be permanent residents of Polk, Lake, Osceola, Brevard, Volusia or Seminole Counties in Central FL.

Central Florida Orchid Society Scholarship
The Central Florida Scholarship Committee
Post Office Box 3105
Orlando, Florida 32801
Apply at

12. Chicago Farmers Scholarship

Deadline: Contact institutional office

The Chicago Farmers has a long history of making awards to outstanding students enrolled in agricultural and life sciences degree programs at public institutions.

Applicants must attend:

• Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

• Purdue University Agriculture Department

• University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign – College of ACES

• University of Wisconsin at Madison College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

• Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation

• Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences

Academic record and potential for positive contributions and leadership in agriculture have highest influence in selections.

Chicago Farmers Scholarship

Contact institutional department to apply.

13. Keystone International Livestock Exposition Scholarships

Deadline: March 15

The Pennsylvania Livestock Association sponsors this fund that makes annual awards of at least $1,000 each to help promising students pursue careers in the livestock industry. Annual competitions are also available that offer cash prizes for national and regional finalists.

Keystone International Livestock Exposition Scholarships
Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center
2300 N. Cameron St.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9443
Phone: (717) 787-2905
Fax: (717) 705-9900

14. Dairy Farmers of America Scholarships

Deadline: January 15

Consistent with its belief that investing in future leaders is essential to ensure a brighter tomorrow for the industry, DFA makes numerous awards to students pursuing dairy careers.

Applicants must be currently attending or have previously applied to an accredited degree program and major in a dairy or related discipline. Most influential factors in award selections are passionate commitment to a dairy career as evidenced by three essay question responses, extracurricular activities and academic achievement.

Dairy Farmers of America Scholarships
Dairy Farmers of America
10220 N. Ambassador Dr.
Kansas City, MO 64153
Phone: 888-DFA-MILK

15. Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarships

Deadline: June 1

The DAA Foundation makes one-time annual awards of $1,000 each to aspiring female ranchers or farmers and agribusiness women.

Applicants must be a female farmer or rancher or the wife, daughter or close female relative of a farmer, rancher or agricultural worker. Candidates must also have financial need, agricultural knowledge or work history and be enrolled in courses related to agriculture and agricultural community needs. GPA and standardized test scores are also considered.

Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarships
Ardath DeWall
Daughters of American Agriculture
11841 N. Mt. Vernon Road
Shannon IL 61078
Apply at

16. Delmarva Farmer Scholarships

Deadline: March 1

American Farm Publications funds these scholarships via its annual golf tournament and plans to make five one-time awards of $5,000 to exemplary agriculture students in 2014.

Applicants must be residents of DE, VA, NJ or MD with a cumulative high school or college GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Delmarva Farmer Scholarships
Post Office Box 2026
Easton, MD 21601
Phone: 800-634-5021

17. Elizabeth Hiser Scholarship

Deadline: March 1

The Vermont Academy of Nutrition makes an annual award to assist a deserving registered dietitian expand knowledge of nutrition or food science.

Applicants must be Vermont residents but may attend an educational program or institution outside of Vermont.

Elizabeth Hiser Scholarship
CPI Chair-Elect
Cathy McIsaac, MS, RD
Fletcher Allen Health Care
111 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05404

18. Farm Kids for Essay Competition

Deadline: March 6

National Farmers sponsors this annual event for high school seniors who plan to pursue accredited degrees in agriculture. Three national finalists are selected, each of whom receives a nonrenewable $1,000 award. Selections are based on two short essays about designated special topics.

Farm Kids for College Scholarship
Helene Bergren
Phone: 515-598-4670

19. First Choice Agricultural Scholarship

Deadline: February 17

1st Farm Credit Services makes 24 annual awards of $1,500 to graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue careers in agriculture and related fields.

Applicants must be accepted by a postsecondary program in agriculture or a related field and reside or attend high school in an Illinois county listed at

Selections are based on academic record, brief essays and involvement in youth agricultural organizations.

First Choice Agricultural Scholarship
2000 Jacobssen Drive
Normal, Illinois 61761
Phone: (309) 268-0254

20. Frank W. and Jeanette S. Peikert Scholarship in Biological Engineering and Agricultural Systems Management

Deadline: Contact institution

This fund makes annual awards in varying amounts to undergraduate agricultural and engineering students at Penn State.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled full-time with at least fifth-semester status as an undergraduate agricultural systems management or biological engineering major. Other eligibility criteria include superior academic achievement and demonstrated leadership ability, as exhibited by active involvement in Penn State’s ASAE branch or Agricultural Systems Management Club.

See also: 25 Great Scholarships for Engineering Majors

Frank W. and Jeanette S. Peikert Scholarship in Biological Engineering and Agricultural Systems Management
Office for Undergraduate Education
101 Ag Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-7521

21. Freehold Soil Conservation District Scholarship

Deadline: April 25

For 34 consecutive years prior to this writing, the Freehold, NJ Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors has helped students pursue careers in natural resources conservation. It plans to continue in 2014 with three awards of $2,000.

Applicants must reside in Middlesex or Monmouth County, be in junior or senior by the fall semester and major in natural resources conservation or a related field. Stated examples are agriculture, conservation studies, environmental science or education, geology, landscape design, soil science and resource management.

Freehold Soil Conservation District Scholarship
Freehold Soil Conservation District
4000 Kozloski Road
Post Office Box 5033
Freehold, NJ 07728
Phone: (732) 683-8500

22. Glenn Webb Education Fund/GROWMARK Foundation Agricultural Scholarship

Deadline: December 1

Regional agricultural cooperative GROWMARK makes annual awards of $1,000 to agriculture students in its service area. Applicants must be pursuing an agricultural or related degree from a community college in IL, IA or WI and active members of Future Farmers of America.

For more details, see

Glenn Webb Education Fund/GROWMARK Foundation Agricultural Scholarship
1701 Towanda Avenue
Bloomington, IL 61701
Phone: (309) 557-6000

23. Buckwheat Scholarship

Deadline: Contact institutional office

Named after the famous character in long-running 1930s television series “Little Rascals,” this fund makes annual awards in various amounts to African American agricultural students at Penn State.

Applicants must be majoring or planning to major in biological engineering, agricultural systems management or any program offered by Penn State’s Department of Plant Science. Financial need is also strongly emphasized as a mandatory criterion.

Buckwheat Scholarship
Office for Undergraduate Education
101 Ag Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-7521

24. Horizon Organic HOPE Scholarship

Deadline: Contact sponsor

The first national organic dairy brand to assist future generation organic food leaders, Horizon Organic® has made annual awards of $2,500 to promising students since 2007. Applicants must be Horizon members or the children or grandchildren of an active Horizon member. Chosen recipients may reapply for multiple subsequent awards.

Horizon Organic HOPE Scholarship
Horizon Organic®
12002 Airport Way
Broomfield, CO 80021
Phone: 1-888-494-3020

25. Iowa Select Farms 4-H Scholarship

Deadline: Varies by program, contact sponsor

The Iowa Select Farms Foundation sponsors more than 100 annual awards for agricultural students in its home state. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 and eligibility criteria vary widely. Universal requirements include full-time enrollment in an agricultural degree or training program, Iowa residency and membership in 4-H Club of Iowa.

Iowa Select Farms 4-H Scholarship
Iowa Select Farms Foundation
P.O. Box 400
811 South Oak
Street, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126

For the remainder of our list, see 25 Great Scholarships for Agricultural Majors (J-Z).

Filed under: Agricultural Scholarships

Last week, I blogged about an opportunity for college students to beef up their advocacy skills and earn prizes for participating in the College Aggies Online scholarship program hosted by the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

READ: College students leading the charge as ag advocates

This week, I would like to share another opportunity, this one for high school students. It’s the 2018 Ag Day Essay Contest, sponsored by CHS Inc., Farm Progress and the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and hosted by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA).

This year’s official essay topic is, “How will agriculture feed the world?”

Students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to explore this theme and describe how agriculture impacts their daily lives and how this industry will feed a growing planet.

ACA gives these prompts as food for thought to inspire the students as they write their essays:

  • Global population is projected to reach 9 billion people by 2020
  • Increasing global consumer interest in how food is produced and processed
  • Popularity and growth of high protein diets featuring plant-based protein
  • Health and fitness driving consumer food buying habits
  • Influence of technology and biotechnology on food production, such as precision agriculture, drones and GMOs (genetically-modified organisms)
  • There’s a shortfall of students entering agriculture, versus the number of job openings. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 20,000 agriculture jobs are left unfilled annually.
  • Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people; a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s.
  • Average age of today’s farmer is 58 years old, who will take over?

READ: 5 consumer sentiments about food

The deadline to enter is Jan. 31, 2018, and the rules can be viewed here.

Students have the option to submit essays in written or video format for this national competition. Two winners will be selected and will win $1,000. The winners will be announced to the public and media following the Taste of Ag Celebration on National Ag Day, March 20, 2018.

Please share this contest with any high school students you know. This is an excellent opportunity to explore an important topic and research possible solutions for sustainably raising a large amount of food in the future. I can’t wait to read the winning essays, and I encourage all 4-H, FFA and agricultural students to apply. Good luck!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

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