There are at least three opportunities out there for young people in agriculture preparing to graduate this spring to earn scholarship money to help pay for the rising cost of an education. Many have likely already applied for some, but there are still dollars out there yet to be awarded.
Here are three opportunities you may want to check out. Eligibility may first depend upon whether your family or extended family does business with the company sponsoring the scholarships. Each company sets its own rules for those parameters. Inquire before you invest time in filling out a scholarship application for which you are not eligible.
First, Co-Alliance offers $20,000 in scholarships to students whose parents or certain other family members belong to the cooperative. Check at your local office to find out deadlines and application information.
Co-Alliance is based in Danville, Ind., but it is actually made up of several other co-ops. You may not realize that if you do business with Impact Co-op in central Indiana, for example, or Midland Co-op in west –central Indiana, you're really doing business with Co-Alliance. Your children would be eligible for the scholarships.
Second, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is offering 46 scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 to seniors enrolled in agricultural and business programs. Farm Credit Services of Mid-America serves Indiana, and also Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Students from all four states will be competing for these scholarships.
This scholarship is open to customers, their dependents and spouses of the ag lending cooperative. Applications are due February 29. Announcement of the awards will be made in April. Judging is based upon academic record, leadership qualities and community involvement. Learn more at: www.e-farmcredit.com.
The third possibility is offered by United Producers, Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio. The company also does business in Indiana. It is also a cooperative. Thirty-two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded. To apply, you must be either a preferred member of UPI< or a child or grandchild of a preferred member of UPI. Preferred members have paid the UPI membership fee and marketed at least one head of livestock through UPI. Preferred member status will be determined based upon 2011 records.The student must be studying an ag-related field. Former winners may not win a second time. Contact www.uproducders.com for more details. Applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2012.