BASF and commodity organizations recognize future agriculture leaders

ORLANDO, FL, February 28, 2019 – BASF, in partnership with the American Soybean Association (ASA), the  National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the National Sorghum Foundation (NSF) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF), awarded $20,000 in academic scholarships to 11 agriculture leaders at the annual Commodity Classic trade show.


American Soybean Association Soy Scholarship


BASF and ASA presented the 2019–2020 ASA Soy Scholarship to Jessica Olson of Warren, Minnesota, who plans to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston in the fall of 2019. Olson will receive a $5,000 academic scholarship in recognition of her academic and leadership skills.


“Helping future ag leaders invest in their studies lays a foundation for future success in the industry,” said ASA Director Joe Steinkamp. “Encouraging interest in ag careers helps ensure we prepare a new generation of ag professionals who are engaged, educated and innovative. ASA is proud to partner with BASF in continued support for outstanding students and looks forward to seeing recipients’ future contributions to agriculture.”


National Corn Growers Association Scholarships


NCGA and BASF awarded the William C. Berg Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship to five aspiring agriculture students. The scholarship was created to honor William C. Berg, an Ohio farmer and retired postal worker who passed away in 2012. Five $1,000 scholarships were awarded to the following students:


  • Kayla Beechinor, a junior from Walla Walla, Washington, majoring in agriculture biotechnology and field crop management at Washington State University
  • Catherine Jones, a senior from Bellevue, Nebraska, studying agriculture and environmental sciences communications at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Amber Oerly, a sophomore from Booneville, Missouri, studying agriculture business at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
  • Osler Ortez, a Ph.D. student from Nicaragua, pursuing a master’s in agronomy and horticulture from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Krista Russell from Jerseyville, Illinois, obtaining her master’s degree in environmental science from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville


National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship


BASF and NSF presented $2,500 scholarships to Isabelle Stewart of Columbus, Nebraska, and Payton Harrell of Spearman, Texas. Stewart is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska majoring in agriculture education. Harrell will graduate this year with a degree in agriculture communications from Texas Tech University.


“Scholarship recipients were evaluated by the National Sorghum Foundation board members,” said Larry Lambright, chairman of NSF. “Both Payton and Isabelle had outstanding academic performance, impressive leadership activities, articulate, thoughtful answers to the questions posed on the applications, and very strong supporting letters.”


National Wheat Foundation Scholarships


The National Wheat Foundation Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship was named after Jerry Minore, a deceased BASF Senior Marketing Manager, to honor his advocacy efforts for wheat growers.


This year, $1,500 scholarships were awarded to two talented students who exhibit a passion for agriculture:


  • Kayla Beechinor, a junior at Washington State University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in integrated plant sciences and double major in agricultural biotechnology and field crop management.
  • Samantha Fischer, a sophomore at Kansas State University, majoring in food science and global food systems leadership.


In addition, two $1,000 scholarships were awarded to:


  • Adrienne Blakey, a junior from Stillwater, Oklahoma, dual majoring in plant and soil sciences and agricultural communications at Oklahoma State University.
  • Storm Soat, a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in crop and soil science.

“Each of the winners had a high GPA and are upperclassmen at their respective universities,” said Wayne Hurst, chairman of the NWF board. “As with all the applicants, the letters of recommendation they submitted were tremendously positive. Two things that made the winners stand out for me was their work experience while attending college and their writing skills. I believe that being able to communicate well is an extremely important skill that each will need to succeed in their respective careers.”


BASF, ASA, NCGA, NSF and NWF are dedicated to supporting the next generation of agriculture leaders. For more information about the initiatives BASF supports, visit



About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work — for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit or 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 more than 18,200 employees in North America and had sales of $17.9 billion in 2017. 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 more than 115,000 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 six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of more than €60 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at