BASF and commodity associations award $20,000 in agriculture scholarships

SAN ANTONIO, March 2, 2017 – BASF, in partnership with industry-leading commodity associations, awarded academic scholarships to 12 passionate and motivated agriculture students. Along with the American Soybean Association (ASA), National Sorghum Producers (NSP), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF), BASF presented the scholarships to recipients during a ceremony at the 2017 Commodity Classic tradeshow in San Antonio.


“These students have shown a commitment to the future of our industry through their enthusiasm for learning and desire for sustainable agriculture,” said Neil Bentley, Director of Marketing, U.S. Crop, BASF. “The growth of agriculture starts with promising students like these, and we look forward to seeing their impact.”


American Soybean Association Scholarship


BASF and ASA presented the 11th ASA Soy Scholarship. The Soy Scholarship is a $5,000 award presented to an exceptional high school senior who thrives in both academics and in leadership roles. Students must also plan to pursue a degree in an agriculture-related field at an accredited college or university to receive the Soy Scholarship.


Clare Sollars of Washington Court House, Ohio, was selected as the 2017-2018 ASA Soy scholarship recipient. Clare will pursue a bachelor’s degree in food engineering at  The Ohio State University’s College of Agriculture and College of Engineering.


“Through ASA’s partnership with BASF, we’ve been able to invest in young leaders within the agriculture industry for more than a decade,” said Richard Wilkins, President of ASA. “Clare’s compassion for the world’s growing need for available, nutritious food, as well as her academic background, will give her the tools she needs to help advance the industry.”


National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship


An exciting new scholarship from National Sorghum Producers has emerged for deserving college students. For the first time, National Sorghum Producers, in partnership with BASF, awarded two $2,500 scholarships. The recipients are pursuing agriculture-related degrees and are making a difference in the industry through their extracurricular activities.


“Our association is very proud of these young representatives supporting sorghum,” said Don Bloss, National Sorghum Producers Board Chairman. “It’s our pleasure to do our part in helping them pursue their careers.”


Students awarded the first-ever National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship include:


  • Abigail Arthaud of Keyes, Oklahoma – a senior at Oklahoma State University studying agricultural communication
  • Cody Nedbalek of College Station, Texas – a graduate student at Texas A&M University studying biological and agricultural engineering

National Corn Growers Association Scholarships


NCGA, in partnership with BASF, awards the William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture scholarship to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in agriculture.


“We are thrilled to partner with BASF and invest in these incredible students,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock, a corn grower from Stratford, Texas. “This industry relies on the next generation to help feed our growing world, and these five young people are aimed at doing just that.”


Scholarships of $1,000 were awarded to each of the following students:


  • Izak Christensen of Ames, Iowa – a concurrent undergraduate and graduate student at Iowa State University studying agricultural business and agronomy and pursuing a master’s degree in business administration
  • Jose Rodrigo Mendoza Jimenez of Guatemala City, Guatemala – a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying food science and technology
  • Kelsey Barnes of College Station, Texas – a graduate student at Texas A&M University studying international agriculture
  • Michael Tupper of Ionia, Iowa – a junior at Iowa State University studying agricultural engineering
  • Rachel Stevens of Falls City, Nebraska – a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying mechanized systems management


National Wheat Foundation Scholarships


The Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship aids both high school and college students with a track record of success and motivation inside and outside the classroom, and who are dedicated to a career in agriculture. The late Jerry Minore was a BASF Senior Market Manager and a liaison to the wheat industry. Since his unexpected death in 2012, BASF has partnered with NWF to fund scholarships and honor his advocacy efforts for wheat growers. This year, the Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship committee awarded four students with either $1,000 or $1,500 scholarships.


“These young people are enthusiastic about advocating for our industry,” said NWF Chairman Phil McLain, a wheat grower from Northern Carolina. “We are very proud of this year’s Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship recipients. These students represent the bright future of agriculture and we are excited to be a part of it.”


Recipients of the NWF Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship include:


  • Carmen Swannack of Lamont, Washington – a junior at Washington State University  studying agricultural biotechnology
  • Kayla Beechinor of Walla Walla, Washington – a freshman at Washington State University studying agricultural biotechnology and field crop management
  • Matthew Klopfenstein of Haviland, Ohio – a sophomore student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, pursuing a degree in biological and agricultural engineering
  • Travis Born of Ferris, Texas – a sophomore at Texas A&M University-Commerce studying agricultural sciences


BASF, ASA, NSP, NCGA, and NWF are committed to fostering the next crop of talented agriculture students, thereby providing generations of critical growth in our industry. For more information about the industry initiatives BASF supports, visit


About BASF’s Crop Protection division


With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. BASF’s Crop Protection division works with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others to help make this possible. With their cooperation, BASF is able to sustain an active R&D pipeline, an innovative portfolio of products and services, and teams of experts in the lab and in the field to support customers in making their businesses succeed. In 2016, BASF’s Crop Protection division generated sales of more than €5.6 billion. For more information, please visit us at or on any of our social media channels.


About BASF


BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has nearly 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.4 billion in 2015. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit


At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 112,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of more than €70 billion in 2015. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


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