Oct 5, 2016
Michigan potato commission creates scholarship program

The Michigan Potato Industry Commission is initiating an annual $1,000 scholarship for a post-secondary student who is a Michigan resident and has an agriculture-related major. The first award will be made for the fall 2017 semester. Students interested in competing for the 2017 scholarship must submit their applications to the commission office by 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2017.

The application instructions and forms will soon be available on the Michigan Potato Industry Commission’s website. Applicants do not need to have any relationship specific to the potato industry.

“The Commission wants to help ag students in general because all of agriculture can benefit from well-trained future leaders,” said Mike Wenkel, the commission’s executive director. “Post-secondary education is not only difficult but expensive, and we want to help outstanding young people in their career pursuits in the agricultural field.”

Although Michigan State University (MSU) as the land-grant institution enrolls the bulk of the state’s agricultural students, the commission’s scholarship is not restricted to MSU enrollees, Wenkel said. He pointed out that other universities and colleges have expanded their agricultural offerings in recent years, so the field of eligible applicants extends throughout the state. He added that the range of subject majors is also broad, embracing such diverse areas of study as engineering and marketing and the many scientific disciplines that are critical to modern agricultural production.

The requirements for scholarship applicants, along with Michigan residency, are that they must be taking at least 12 credit hours per semester in a Michigan-accredited post-secondary institution and maintaining a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher (as verified by a transcript) in a major related to agriculture.

The application form requires the applicant to discuss his or her extracurricular activities, including leadership positions if any, as well as community involvement such as experience as a volunteer and participation in fund-raising events. Great weight in the evaluation process will also be given to each applicant’s personal essay of 500 words or less detailing his or her educational and career goals and indicating how the scholarship will help in the achievement of those goals. Space is also provided for employment history.

The full application, which must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, can be submitted to the Commission’s office by mail, e-mail or FAX.

Judging of the submissions will be by commission members or by a special committee appointed by the commission.  Each scholarship winner will be ineligible for an additional award.






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