Contact: Laurie Bedord
Future Agricultural Communicators Committee
AAEA The Agricultural Communicators Network
Recipients of the 2021 AAEA The Agricultural Communicators Network Scholarships Announced
John F. Kennedy once said, “We must do all that we can to give our children the best in education and social upbringing for while they are the youth of today, they shall be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Nurturing and investing in our youth is the goal of the AAEA The Agricultural Communicators Network scholarships, as well as our editorial and marketing communications internships. Through these opportunities we strive to recognize the very best students and support them in their endeavor to join our profession.
Two outstanding students have been selected to receive the 2021 scholarships.
Callie McClay. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Callie McClay has been selected to receive the Dr. James Evans Scholarship. This $3,000 scholarship is in honor of Dr. James Evans who has had a tremendous impact on the establishment and growth of agricultural communications programs.
As the recipient, McClay is being recognized for her excellence in academics and leadership, and for exemplifying the dedication and commitment of the outstanding individual for whom this award is named.
“I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Evans on several occasions at the University of Illinois,” McClay says. “Receiving the Dr. James Evans Scholarship is completely humbling and an absolute honor.”
Heather Miller, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says “Callie is an outstanding candidate for this scholarship because of her commitment to academic excellence, impeccable work ethic, and her desire to give of herself through volunteer activities,”
Bobby Marchy, Oklahoma State University. Bobby Marchy is being awarded the Past Presidents’ Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 each. This award recognizes his leadership, dedication, and hard work in the agriculture community.
“I give Bobby my highest recommendation for the scholarship based on past achievements, current hard work ethic in his academic and internship experiences, and a passion to continue to grow as an influential agriculturalist,” says Curt Nelson, Certis USA Regional Sales Manager.
Both scholarships are made possible through a grant from the Professional Improvement Foundation. The Dr. James Evans Scholarship is funded, in part, through the generosity of CoBank.
“CoBank is proud to continue its support of the AAEA scholarship program and the next generation of agricultural journalists and communicators,” says Sherry Johnson, director of corporate social responsibility with CoBank. “The students we’ve met during our involvement as a sponsor have been truly inspiring. It’s been our pleasure to partner with AAEA to support these students on their scholastic and professional journeys.”
Established by the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) in 1993 and adopted by AAEA in 2004, these scholarships are awarded to outstanding members of ACT for their achievements in leadership, career-related experiences, academics and service.
Established by the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) in 1993 and adopted by AAEA in 2004, AAEA scholarships are awarded to outstanding members of ACT for their achievements in leadership, career-related experiences, academics and service.
Dr. Jim Evans Scholarship
The top AAEA/ACT scholarship given each year is “The Jim Evans Scholarship.” Dr. Evans has had a tremendous impact on the establishment and growth of agricultural communications programs, and serves as a mentor for hundreds of former and present students. Anyone who meets and visits with Jim comes away with renewed enthusiasm for our industry and a great appreciation for everything he has done for our profession. The recipient is recognized for “excellence in academics and leadership, and for exemplifying the dedication and commitment of the outstanding individual for whom this award is named.”
Congratulations to Madelyn Main,
the 2020 Dr. Jim Evans Scholarship Recipient
"Madelyn brings a self-awareness, positivity, and desire to give back to the community that seemed fitting for the James Evans Scholarship recipient,” says Courtney Leeper, who was part of the selection committee.
“Receiving the Dr. James Evans Scholarship has been an extremely rewarding and humbling experience,” says Madelyn Main. “I was raised within the agricultural industry and learned from an early age the importance of advocating on behalf of the industry. Being able to be a part in doing so and being recognized for my efforts means so much. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities and opened doors this scholarship will provide me. The effort of agvocating is a lifelong commitment. I am excited to give back to and be a positive addition to these efforts in whatever community I plant my roots in someday.”
2020 AAEA/ACT Past Presidents’ Scholarship Recipients
This year’s candidates were incredibly impressive, making the final decision perhaps our most difficult one yet,” says Courtney Leeper, part of the selection committee. “Each of these bright young women has a unique story of pursuing goals in agricultural communications and stepping into leadership roles along the way.”
Macy Evans, Iowa State University
Kylee Kohls, South Dakota State University
Jessica Wesson, University of Arkansas