2012 Ag-Communication Scholarships Available

Scholarships provided by Yamaha give college students the opportunity to attend the 2012 Agricultural Media Summit.

by Dani Yokhna
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Courtesy Hemera/Thinkstock
Two individual scholarships and one group scholarhip is available  to college students in the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.

Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., is now accepting applications for its 2011-12 scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to members of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. The national college student association has more than 350 members located on 17 college and university campuses across the country. ACT’s mission of fostering professional development is at the core of the Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program, now in its fourth year.

The Yamaha-ACT Scholarship Program is divited into two individual student scholarships and one chapter scholarship. All three awards aim to help students attend the annual Agricultural Media Summit, the largest gathering of agricultural-media professionals in the country and the ACT students’ primary career-development networking opportunity each year. The conference is hosted by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, the Livestock Publications Council and the American Business Media Agri-Council, all potential future employers and colleagues of the students.

“Yamaha is proud to help these ag students, but the program is structured so that the ag community might benefit most in the long term,” says Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS marketing manager. “Within our application process, we are incorporating some basic points on safe, responsible equipment use, and we expect the students will take these important messages into their future careers as professional communicators.”

For the 2010-11 program, the University of Florida received Yamaha’s chapter award for the third year in a row, while Janell Baum of University of Illinois and R. Bruce Sargent of University of Guelph earned the individual scholarships. The University of Florida’s award helped cover the costs of bringing four students to the 2011 AMS in New Orleans, while the individual scholarships covered all travel and accommodations costs, plus more, for both Baum and Sargent. The 2012 AMS will be held in Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 4 to 6.

“This program has helped my agricultural-communication students in two ways: It provides funding for them to attend AMS, and equally important, my students have benefitted from how I have incorporated the Yamaha/ACT program into my spring curriculum,” says Ricky Telg, PhD, ACT chapter advisor and professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. “Without this scholarship award, my students would not have been able to attend the Agricultural Media Summit, which allows them to network with professional communicators, learn new communications skills and interact with their fellow ACT students from around the country.”

As AMS grows, so do the opportunities for agriculture students.

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“These scholarships help students—many of whom might not have otherwise been able to attend—make it to the event, allowing them to participate in the professional-development sessions and networking while learning more about the industry as a whole,” Nessl says.

Applications are judged by a review committee consisting of Yamaha representatives and members of the AAEA and the LPC based on merit, need and quality of submission materials. The 2011-12 application process will run through the end of March 2012, and winners will be announced in late April 2012. More information and guidelines, along with the application form, can be found on the ACT website.

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