The Andy Markwart Horizon Award, presented by the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation (PIF), is an annual award given to an AAEA member who embodies the youthful vigor, energy, passion, dedication and creativity shown by Andy in his volunteer work for AAEA for many years. Andy, editor of The Furrow, died in 2006 from heart problems.
The Andy Markwart Horizon Award winner must meet the following criteria and provide the following application materials.
- Open to any AAEA member age 35 and younger.
- References. Two professional references (one from current employer).
- Essay: 500 words or fewer that describe your interest in receiving the stipend and why you believe you are deserving, your professional goals, etc.
You may nominate an AAEA member or apply for yourself. Nominations are not required.
Each year, the award’s winner receives a $2,500 stipend, which can be used for attending the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) annual Congress, the Agricultural Media Summit or other professional development class, seminar or workshop.
The Andy Markwart Horizon Award is being funded with a $25,000 grant over five years by John Deere (Andy’s employer for many years prior to his death) and matching funds to be raised by PIF.
Congratulations to Cassie Yontz, 2019 Andy Markwart Recipient Winner!
Since graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011, Cassie Yontz has worked for GROWMARK, Inc., Archer Malmo and is now an account supervisor at Charleston | Orwig.
“Cassie embodies all the same qualities that made Andy such a wonderful AAEA member and mentor,” said Lyle Orwig, who knew Andy Markwart. “She displays that same youthful vigor, high energy, passion for everything she does, and dedication to her clients, her fellow employees and to every challenge placed in front of her.”
In her application for the Andy Markwart Horizon award, Yontz wrote, “I am grateful to spend each day seeking to understand and serve the best interests of my clients, coaching and mentoring the next generation of agricultural communicators and serving as an agricultural advocate in my networks. I am a firm believer that no matter how old we get, how long we’ve worked, how much we think we know – we can never stop pursuing knowledge. We can never lose the hunger for further education, the hunger to learn more and continue bettering ourselves.”
Yontz currently serves as a trustee for the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation.