ASA, BASF award Iowa student with 2018 Soy Scholarship

ASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents McKenna Nielsen (right) with the Soy Scholarship during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 28. Photo by Joe Murphy

American Soybean Association

ST. LOUIS, Mo. —- McKenna Nielsen, of Audubon, Iowa, received the 2018-19 Soy Scholarship award, sponsored by BASF and the American Soybean Association (ASA).

The scholarship is a $5,000 award presented to an exceptional high school senior who excels in both academics and in leadership roles, and plans to pursue a degree in an agriculture-related field at an accredited college or university.

Nielsen has been involved in 4-H on the local, state and national level. She’s also served as an officer in FFA and participated in a Supervised Agriculture Experience project, farming soybeans and corn. Nielsen has taken opportunities to discuss farming with both her state and lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Nielsen is described as exhibiting “exemplary skills in leadership.” She maintains a busy schedule, balancing college credit courses with sports, theater, band, student government and several agriculture groups. Volunteering is one of her passions and over the course of her high school career she’s logged 360 volunteer hours in her local, state and national communities.

Nielsen plans to pursue a double major in agricultural studies related to food resources and medical studies for nursing at Morningside College. She will be a fifth generation farmer on both sides of her family.

“I will be farming in the fields where my great, great grandparents began our family legacy so many years ago,” Nielsen stated in her application essay. “With our aging farming population, as youth we need to start stepping up to the challenge of working with our parents/grandparents to learn how to grow food, care and preserve our family farms and work to increase incomes in farming.”

BASF and ASA presented the ASA Soy Scholarship to Nielsen last week in Anaheim, Calif., during Commodity Classic, ASA’s annual tradeshow and convention.

“ASA is proud to once again team up with BASF to invest in future ag leaders,” said John Heisdorffer, ASA President and farmer from Keota, Iowa. “We are impressed by McKenna’s accomplishments and look forward to seeing her future success.”