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BASF and Commodity Organizations Invest in the Future of Agriculture

BASF and Commodity Organizations Invest in the Future of Agriculture

$20,000 in academic scholarships awarded to student agriculture leaders to help aid in future success  

ANAHEIM, Calif., February 28, 2018 – The future of agriculture is bright, and there is no place where that light will shine brighter than at the BASF booth during the annual Commodity Classic tradeshow. There, 12 future agriculture leaders will be awarded academic scholarships by BASF in partnership with the American Soybean Association (ASA), the National Sorghum Foundation (NSF), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF).

“The future of agriculture relies on passionate students who have a true desire to take part in advancing our industry,” said Scott Kay, BASF Vice President of U.S. Crop Protection. “I’m looking forward to seeing what our future holds knowing that we may have the privilege of one day employing these intelligent students at BASF.”

American Soybean Association Soy Scholarship

This year, BASF and ASA presented the 12th ASA Soy Scholarship. The ASA Soy Scholarship is a $5,000 award presented to one high school senior who exhibits strong academics and leadership skills. Award recipients must also plan to pursue a degree in an agriculture-related field at an accredited college or university to be eligible for the scholarship.

McKenna Nielsen of Audubon, Iowa, was selected as the 2018–2019 ASA Soy Scholarship winner. McKenna will attend Morningside College this fall where she hopes to study agriculture.

“ASA is proud to once again team up with BASF to honor a young future ag leader,” said John Heisdorffer, ASA President and farmer from Keota, Iowa. “We are excited McKenna has chosen a future in agriculture and look forward to seeing her future successes in the field.”

National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship

In its second year, the National Sorghum Foundation and BASF have partnered to present two $2,500 scholarships. This year’s recipients are pursuing agriculture-related degrees and are heavily involved in their universities’ extracurricular activities.

“The National Sorghum Foundation, in partnership with BASF, is very pleased to provide scholarships to these very deserving individuals,” said Larry Lambright, Chairman of the National Sorghum Foundation. “Students like Payton and Micah, with their commitment and dedication, make the future of agriculture very bright.”

This year’s National Sorghum Foundation – BASF scholarship winners are:

  • Micah Arthaud, from Keyes, Oklahoma – a sophomore at Oklahoma State University double majoring in biosystems and agricultural engineering, with a minor in agricultural economics and agribusiness.
  • Payton Harrell, from Spearman, Texas – a junior at Texas Tech University studying agricultural communications.

National Corn Growers Association Scholarships

The National Corn Growers Association and BASF awarded the William C. Berg Excellence in Agriculture scholarship to five aspiring college students pursuing degrees in an agriculture-related field. The William C. Berg Excellence scholarship was created to honor William C. Berg, an Ohio farmer and retired postal worker who passed away in 2012.

“Agriculture is an exciting industry that is constantly changing, evolving and growing to meet society’s need for food, feed, fuel and a host of sustainable products. A new generation of leaders across multiple disciplines will be key to continued success,” said Kevin Skunes, NCGA President and corn grower from Arthur, North Dakota. “These scholarship winners show we can look forward to a bright future.”

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

  • Nicole Gutzmann, from Raleigh, North Carolina – a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University pursuing a degree in entomology with a social science minor in genetic engineering and society.
  • Emily Kreinbrink, from Columbus, Ohio – a junior at Ohio State University studying food science and technology.
  • Stephen Schwartz, from West Lafayette, Indiana – a sophomore at Purdue University studying agronomy with a focus in crop and soil management.
  • Santiago Tamagno, from Manhattan, Kansas – a graduate student at Kansas State University pursuing a Ph.D. in agronomy.
  • Samantha Teten, from Johnson, Nebraska – a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying agronomy.

National Wheat Foundation Scholarships

The Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship recognizes those students who are passionate about pursuing careers in agriculture. This scholarship was named after Jerry Minore, 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’s scholarship recipients are helping to carry on Jerry Minore’s dreams, legacy and love for wheat,” said Phil McLain, NWF Chairman and Northern Carolina wheat grower. “We are very proud of this year’s recipients who represent the bright future of the agriculture industry.”

This year’s winners of the two $1,500 and $1,000 National Wheat Foundation Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship awards are:

  • Kayla Beechinor, from Walla Walla, Washington – a junior at Washington State University double majoring in ag biotech and field crop management.
  • Sarah Ann Moyer, from Emporia, Kansas – a junior at Kansas State University studying agriculture communications and journalism.
  • Kennedy Klein, from Fargo, North Dakota – a junior at North Dakota State University majoring in crop and weed science with a minor in botany.
  • Matthew Klopfenstein, from Haviland, Ohio – a sophomore at Ohio State University studying ag engineering.

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 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 €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 $16.2 billion in 2016. 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 114,000 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 about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at



NSP represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry coast to coast through legislative representation, regulatory representation and education. To learn more about NSP, visit

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Blackburn
External Affairs Director
National Sorghum Producers
(806) 749-3478