By Laurie Bedord
Established by the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (NACT) in 1993 and adopted by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) in 2004, AAEA Agricultural Communicators Network scholarships are awarded to outstanding members of ACT for their achievements in leadership, career-related experiences, academics and service.
Four scholarships will be awarded in 2019. The James Evans Scholarship is the top scholarship offered, in the amount of $3,000. Dr. Evans continues to have a tremendous impact on the establishment and growth of agricultural communications programs, and he serves as a mentor for hundreds of former and current students. The recipient of the James Evans Scholarship is recognized for “excellence in academics and leadership, and for exemplifying the dedication and commitment of the outstanding individual for whom this is named.”
In order to be eligible for the James Evans Scholarship, the top four applicants will be required to take part in an in-person interview during Ag Media Summit. The Summit will be held in Minneapolis/Bloomington, Minnesota from July 27 to July 31, 2019.
The remaining three students will be awarded the Past President’s Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 each.
A luncheon to honor all four students will be held on Monday, July 29, 2019, during the Agricultural Media Summit. The student chosen to receive the Dr. James Evans Scholarship will be announced at the luncheon.
All four scholarships are made possible through a grant from the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation (PIF). The Dr. James Evans Scholarship is sponsored for a second year, in part, through the generosity of CoBank.
“CoBank is proud to support AAEA and the professional development of the next generation of agricultural journalists and communicators,” says Jo Solonika, VP, Corporate Communications CoBank. “We appreciate and admire the dedication AAEA has shown in support of its student members and are pleased to continue our partnership in those efforts.”
The Past President’s Scholarships are sponsored, in part, through the generosity of AgCareers.com.
“AgCareers.com is committed to telling the story of agriculture, and in particular, enhancing the view of the wonderful careers the agricultural industry provides,” says Erika Osmundson, Director of Marketing and Communications, AgCareers.com. “Sponsorship of this scholarship not only helps a young person get or stay involved in a potential agriculture career, it expands beyond; through the great work this young person will go on to produce in the future to further advocate for our industry.”
Applicants must be current members of ACT and enrolled as an undergraduate student at a university or college during the time of their application (Applicants may be graduating seniors.). Although funded by AAEA and PIF, the scholarship is available to any ACT member, regardless of his/her specific communication career path. Recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:
• ACT involvement, leadership activities and other campus organizational involvement
• Academic achievements
• Internships and career-related experiences
• Reference recommendations
The scholarship selection committee will consist of members of the AAEA Future Agricultural Communications Committee, including at least one representative of ACT.
Applications for the 2019 AAEA scholarships are due on or before Monday, February 18, 2019.
Please encourage students you know to apply, and please pass along this information to university and college communications professors and/or advisers you know. Our goal is to recognize the very best students and support them in their endeavor to join our profession.