As demand for agricultural professionals grow, one in seventeen careers in Illinois are directly related to agriculture; and in Champaign County alone, the industry boasts an employment of nearly 2,800 residents. Driven to support an industry thirsty for agricultural professionals, the Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation provides scholarships to local students pursuing a college degree in a food or agricultural or related field of study.
“As the cost of college continues to skyrocket, today’s college graduates enter the workforce with both a degree and a large amount of student debt. That’s why what we’re doing at the Foundation is so important” says Farm Bureau Foundation Executive Director Kirk Builta.
In addition to enrollment at an accredited college or university in an agricultural or related curriculum, successful applicants must maintain exceptional academic performance as well as community and school involvement. Applicants must be Champaign County residents and/or graduates (or graduating High School Seniors) of a High School located in Champaign County. Ultimately, the most qualified applicants will work to make a positive impact on future of the food and agricultural industry.
Builta says it’s important for all college-bound students to consider studying agriculture and applying for Farm Bureau Scholarships. “Agriculture has always been more than combines, corn, and cows. The industry is thirsty for new hires in a variety of different career paths. This year our students are studying food science, engineering, meteorology and other agricultural-related degree paths.”
Scholarships of no less than $1,000 will be awarded to top candidates. Scholarship applications will be available in early December on the CCFB Foundation website and are due no later than January 31, 2020.
The Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation communicates the critical importance of agriculture to the community. The Foundation educates by bringing knowledge and understanding through the Agriculture in the Classroom program, by providing scholarship to future ag leaders, and by fundraising to sustain those initiatives. Since its inception in 1986, the Foundation is proud to have provided over 415 Champaign County students the encouragement and financial resources to succeed in college. In addition, the Foundation’s Ag in the Classroom program educates over 1,000 students each month.