A legacy lives on with four ag scholarship recipients

April 04, 2017

Students who won NWF BASF Scholarships at Commodity Classic

Four students with their eyes on the future of agriculture and their hearts in the wheat industry received the Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship at the 2017 Commodity Classic.

This scholarship aids both high school and college students with a track record of success and motivation inside and outside the classroom. The students must also be committed   to a career in agriculture.

The award recipients each have a personal tie to the wheat industry and are outstanding students in their field. The 2017 recipients are: Kayla Beechinor, Travis Born, Matthew Klopfenstein, and Carmen Swannack.

  • Kayla Beechinor is a freshman at Washington State University studying agricultural biotechnology and field crop management. She grew up in Walla Walla, Washington on a sixth-generation wheat farm. Kayla credits her upbringing as the catalyst for an exciting future career in plant breeding.
  • Travis Born is a sophomore at Texas A&M University-Commerce studying agricultural sciences. He was raised on a farm in Ellis County, Texas. He hopes this background and his university classes will mold him into an excellent farmer and leader in the agricultural community.
  • Matthew Klopfenstein of Haviland, Ohio, is a sophomore at The Ohio State University pursuing a degree in biological and agricultural engineering. His career aspirations began on the family farm and will one day culminate in his dream of starting an engineering firm that manufactures agricultural equipment.
  • Carmen Swannack is a junior at Washington State University studying agricultural biotechnology. Carmen’s family farm, located near Lamont, Washington, has a herd of sheep as well as alfalfa and wheat. This way of life became her inspiration to pursue a career in plant breeding.

The scholarship serves to honor the late Jerry Minore, a longtime friend of the wheat industry and an advocate for wheat farmers. As a Senior Market Manager at BASF and a liaison to the wheat industry, Jerry’s passions made a difference in the industry. Since his unexpected death in 2012, BASF Crop Protection has partnered with the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) to fund scholarships and continue his advocacy efforts for wheat growers. This year, the Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship committee awarded four students with either $1,000 or $1,500 scholarships.

“These young people are enthusiastic about advocating for our industry,” said NWF Chairman Phil McLain, a wheat grower from Northern Carolina. “We are very proud of this year’s Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship recipients. These students represent the bright future of agriculture and we are excited to be a part of it.”


©2017 BASF Corporation