Precision Agriculture Students Among Those Eligible For New OABA Scholarship

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA), through a $50,000 gift from its Educational Trust, has created a new opportunity for its members, agribusinesses, and other interested parties in Ohio’s agriculture community to support students who will become the next leaders of the state’s largest industry.

The new Ohio AgriBusiness Association Endowed Scholarship Fund, established through The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will provide scholarships for OSU students working toward agricultural degrees and pursuing enrichment opportunities through their education.

This is the latest and largest gift to the college from the agribusiness trade association, a longtime and loyal supporter of CFAES students. Since 1972, OABA has provided $497,535 in scholarships shared among 525 recipients, according to figures provided by the college.

“Part of it is altruistic, and part of it is self-serving because we need well-educated students in agriculture,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “It is something we have continued and grown over the years because it is critical.”

The endowment will create annual scholarships in four categories:

  • Study Abroad program. The College’s study abroad program allows eligible students to participate in enriching, career-related experiences on overseas trips.
  • Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute. This scholarship follows eligible students as they complete a two-year degree and carries over to those who choose to continue on at the Columbus campus to finish a four-year degree.
  • Precision Agriculture Students. For students studying precision strategies and technology to improve efficiencies, evaluation, and automation, and is geared toward the future of agriculture.
  • Dean’s Discretionary Pick. This scholarship is awarded to the “best of the best” as determined by the dean of the College.

The gift, to be endowed in perpetuity, will be eligible for the Ohio Scholarship Challenge, an Ohio State matching-fund campaign. Although the initiation phase of the campaign ends June 30, donors have until 2019 to give in order to see their investment double on qualifying gifts of $100,000 or more. OABA will partner with its more than 245 member companies to match the $50,000 with contributions to meet that goal, Henney said.

“This is very appealing because the agribusiness industry needs workers. The timing is right,” said Henney. “We strongly support the future of our industry, and this is a wonderful opportunity for our members to continue to contribute in meaningful ways toward building that future.”

Those interested in contributing to the new scholarship fund can do so online at giveto.osu.edu/makeagift or contact The Ohio State University Foundation at 614-292-2141.

According to Henney, the OABA’s Educational Trust board members deserve credit for the idea, which developed into the full endowment.

The OABA Educational Trust was established in 1993 to provide scholarship assistance to students pursuing a career in agribusiness. Over $35,000 in scholarships are funded each year through Educational Trust’s Bowling for Scholarships and Golf for Scholarships fundraising events. The scholarship program provides financial assistance to students enrolled in an agriculturerelated field attending The Ohio State University and Ohio State ATI, Clark State Community College and Wilmington College.

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