Students with a passion for ag receive BASF scholarships


BASF is dedicated to helping passionate students who have a desire to advance the agriculture industry. To aid these committed ag students in their endeavors, BASF awarded scholarships during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., including announcing the winners for the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) and the National Sorghum Foundation (NSF).

“The future of agriculture relies heavily on having a strong pipeline of talented individuals entering the industry,” said Scott Kay, vice president of U.S. crop protection, BASF. “I’m looking forward to seeing what our future holds knowing we may have the privilege of working with these intelligent individuals.”

The Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship

In partnership with the National Wheat Foundation, the Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship was given to four talented students this year. Jerry Minore was a BASF employee, a liaison for the wheat industry and a passionate advocate for growers. Since his unexpected death in 2012, BASF has partnered with the NWF to honor his advocacy efforts for wheat growers through this scholarship. The following students won both $1,500 and $1,000 scholarships.

Kayla Beechinor of Walla Walla, Washington, is a sophomore studying ag biotech and field crop management at Washington State University. She is one of last year’s Jerry Minore Scholarship winners as well. At school, Kayla has been working on a spring wheat breeding study isolating yield enhancement genes. After graduation, she intends to continue her education by earning advanced degrees in plant breeding.

Kennedy Klein from Fargo, North Dakota, is a junior at North Dakota State University, studying crop and weed science with a minor in botany. Upon graduation, she hopes to become a plant breeder, and is involved in extensive ag organizations and community service groups.

Matthew Klopfenstein of Haviland, Ohio, is studying biological and agricultural engineering at Ohio State University. He is also a two-time winner of this award. Matthew is very involved in his local Future Farmers of America chapter and was selected to attend a leadership seminar in South Africa.

The final winner of this year’s Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship is Sarah Ann Moyer from Emporia, Kansas. Sarah is currently studying abroad and attends Kansas State University, where she is pursuing a degree in ag communication and journalism. She created a blog that followed wheat harvest and produces editorial content for Arable Media platforms.

National Sorghum Foundation – BASF Scholarship

In its second year, the NSF and BASF have partnered to present two $2,500 scholarships. These winners’ passion for ag and the future of sorghum made them stand out to receive this year’s awards.

Micah Arthaud of Keyes, Oklahoma, is a junior at Oklahoma State University double majoring in biosystems and agricultural engineering, with a minor in agricultural economics and agribusiness. Micah became enamored with farm machinery while growing up on his family farm. He hopes this fascination with farm machinery will lead him to work as a design engineer for an ag machinery company, in either precision planting or combine technology.

Payton Harrell of Spearman, Texas, is a junior at Texas Tech University where she studies agricultural communications. She was an active member of FFA and 4-H, which drove her to actively pursue a degree in agriculture. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue her master’s degree in public relations or agricultural communications. In the future, she would like to work as an advocate in the agriculture industry, utilizing her communication and public relation skills.

“These scholarship winners demonstrate what’s to come for the future of agriculture, especially within wheat and sorghum research and development,” said Kay. “We are happy to support these young, bright individuals in their future endeavors.”

With the help of these young minds, the agriculture industry will continue to grow and evolve, providing new technology, better business management practices and new crop improvements. BASF, NWF and NSF are dedicated to supporting the next generation of agriculture leaders.