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Illinois Soybean Association Scholarship Winners Essay

*Check back in the fall for 2019-20 application info

ASA, BASF Award Iowa Student with 2018 Soy Scholarship

ASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents McKenna Nielsen (right) with the Soy Scholarship during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif on Feb. 28. Photo credit: Joe Murphy

McKenna Nielsen, of Audubon, Iowa, received the 2018-19 Soy Scholarship award, sponsored by BASF and the American Soybean Association (ASA).

The scholarship is a $5,000 award presented to an exceptional high school senior who excels in both academics and in leadership roles, and plans to pursue a degree in an agriculture-related field at an accredited college or university.

Nielsen plans to pursue a double major in agricultural studies related to food resources and medical studies for nursing at Morningside College. She will be a fifth generation farmer on both sides of her family.

BASF and ASA presented the ASA Soy Scholarship to Nielsen last week in Anaheim, Calif. during Commodity Classic, ASA’s annual tradeshow and convention.

“ASA is proud to once again team up with BASF to invest in future ag leaders,” said John Heisdorffer, ASA President and farmer from Keota, Iowa. “We are impressed by McKenna’s accomplishments and look forward to seeing her future success.”

Scholarship Requirements

  • Applicant is a HS Senior with a GPA of 3.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale.
  • Applicant must be the child or grandchild of a current ASA member. Student’s parent or grandparent must remain a current member throughout the tenure of the student’s scholarship. Only one award per household for the duration of the life of the scholarship will be awarded.
  • Applicant must plan to declare Agriculture (or discipline in the school of Agriculture) as an area of study at any accredited College or University of their choosing.
  • Current High School transcript must be submitted. High School transcript can be official or unofficial but must show high school GPA scale.
  • Applicant must submit most recent ACT and/or SAT standardized test score.
  • Applicant must complete an essay of 500 words or less on this subject: “What role will I play in the future of agriculture?”
  • Applicant must provide two letters of recommendation. One from an authority figure dealing directly with the student’s academic progress such as HS Guidance Counselor, Ag teacher, Advisor, etc. and one personal recommendation letter, such as FFA advisor, pastor etc.
  • Applicant must show demonstrated extra-curricular activities/leadership skills in agriculture activities.
  • Applicant must achieve a college GPA of 2.5 or higher during their first semester of freshman year, and remain in good standing with the College or University to obtain the full scholarship. (GPA will be checked between semesters). Transfer credits do not apply toward the GPA requirement.

Selection Process & Scoring

Applicants fill out an online application between Sept. 11 through Nov 20, 2017, available on SoyGrowers.com.

  • Eligible applicants will be scored by the below stated percentages.
  • Scholarship winner will be selected in early December by a committee of ASA Board Members and the winner will be notified thereafter.
  • The official public announcement of the winner will be made at Commodity Classic in Anaheim in March.

Selected Candidates Scoring

  • 20% HS GPA and ACT/and or SAT standardized test score
  • 20% Response to Essay Question
  • 30% Extra-curricular/leadership activities related to agriculture
  • 30% Two letters of recommendation (one academic, one personal)

Past Recipients

Academic Year Recipient NameState College 
2017-18Clare SollarsWashington Court House, OhioThe Ohio State University
2016-17Kara BerreyCarrollton, Mo.Missouri State University
2015-16Maria KuhnsMason, Ill.University of Missouri – Columbia
2014-15Caleb BrannonPuryear, Tenn.Murray State University
2013-14Mason KiehlMeadville, Mo.University of Missouri – Columbia
2012-13Melissa SchenkBoston, Ky.Murray State
2011-12Kevin BerklandSibley, IowaIowa State University
2010-2011Ben BellarHoward, Kan.Kansas State University
2009-10Brent Larson Algona, IowaSouth Dakota State University
2008-09Laura (Stevens) ThompsonWahoo, Neb.University of Nebraska – Lincoln

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ISA Announces 2017 Illinois Yield Challenge Winners; 100-Bushel Yields Continue

BLOOMINGTON, ILL. - December 15, 2017—Several soybean growers topped 100 bushels per acre (bu/A) in the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program’s annual Yield Challenge. Now in its seventh year, the competition offers farmers four ways to compete: 100-Bushel challenge, Crop District challenge, Double-Crop challenge and Side-by-Side trials.

“Year after year, we see crop technology and innovations continue to grow,” says Jenny Mennenga, soybean farmer from Le Roy, Ill., and ISA at-large director. “Growers continue to challenge their limits and push their crops to their maximum potential all for the sake of exploration and expanded management strategies. The Yield Challenge encourages that in-field experimentation. It’s an exciting time to be growing soybeans.”

For the third year in a row, Robert and Jason Lakey won the 100-Bushel Challenge with a 110.03 bu/A yield on their Champaign County test plot.

Honorable mentions include Greg McClure, Lawrence County; and Alvin and Scott Landrey, Montgomery County, who also exceeded the century mark during the 2017 growing season. McClure reached 108.18 and 101.84 bu/A, and the Landreys reached 104.67 bu/A.

The 2017 district winners are:

NAME

DISTRICT

PLACE

YIELD (bu/A)

Dan Luepkes

1

1

95.32

Luke Heaton

1

2

91.52

Daniel Arkels

2

1

88.29

Grant Strom

3

1

94.01

Paul Klein

4

1

99.02

Charles Hickey

4

2

84.47

Joe Klein

5

1

99.31

Mike Trainor

5

2

73.12

Alvin and Scott Landrey

6

1

98.77

Kevin Burrus

6

2

96.43

Greg McClure

7

1

101.84

Travis Albin

7

2

85.10

Matt Krausz

8

1

81.34

Mark Krausz

8

2

78.63

Casey Douglas

9

1

70.24

First-place winners of the Crop District challenge who achieved the highest percentage yield increase in each crop reporting district will be awarded $500. Second place winners receive $250.

The 2017 Side-by-Side winners are:

 NAME

DISTRICT

bu/A CHECK PLOT

bu/A CHALLENGE PLOT

YC ADVANTAGE

PLACE

Brian Colberg

1

58.74

67.26

8.52

1

John Breedlove

4

63.24

68.34

5.10

1

Dan Vogel

4

76.40

82.00

5.60

2

Mike Trainor

5

64.11

70.20

6.09

1

Keith Pokarney

5

58.28

61.71

3.43

2

The Side-by-Side sponsor plots contest rewards growers for testing innovative practices in a challenge plot against their regular practices in a standard plot. The grower with the highest percentage yield increase in his or her district gets $500. Second highest gets $250.

The 2017 Double-Crop winners are:

NAME

DISTRICT

PLACE

YIELD (bu/A)

Dan Luepkes

1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

1

75.54

James Garlisch

1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

2

64.31

Chad & Kyle Kuenstler

6 & 7

1

51.20

Matt Krausz

8 & 9

1

55.82

Mark Krausz

8 & 9

2

51.28

The Double-Crop challenge rewards growers who double-crop beans after wheat or another crop harvested the same season. First place receives $500 and second place earns $250 in each region.

ISA established the Yield Challenge—funded by the ISA checkoff program—in 2010 to help build Illinois’ position as a global leader in soybean production. The competition challenges soybean farmers throughout all nine crop reporting districts to set up side-by-side plots: one using traditional methods; the other using new, innovative techniques.

In 2017, 35 farmers participated in the Yield Challenge. Winners and top achievers will be recognized in Springfield, Ill., the evening of Jan. 10, at an awards banquet hosted before the annual Soybean Summit at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre Jan. 11. Farmers are encouraged to visit ILSoyAdvisor.com for valuable information on new soybean management practices and other key updates.

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C., through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Amy Roady

roadya@ilsoy.org

309-808-3610

618-535-7937

Cassie Yontz
cyontz@charlestonorwig.com
262-563-5134

Yield

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