At an annual student scholarship banquet, the Montana State University College of Agriculture distributed more than $400,000 in scholarships to around 200 Agriculture students.
The agricultural students were acknowledged by the College of Agriculture faculty and staff, who received scholarships from a variety of donors during the 2016-2017 year. With more than 110 distinct, named scholarships housed in the College of Agriculture, Montana businesses, families and individuals contributed scholarship donations in every size and shape, according to Nora Smith, assistant dean of the College of Agriculture and Montana Agricultural Experiment Station.
“We are so fortunate to have such outstanding support for our students and such a commitment from our scholarship donors,” Smith said. “Our donors understand the importance of keeping college accessible for Montana students, and they clearly see the value in investing in our agriculture future, which begins with our students.”
More than 200 students who received scholarships, represents every option and curriculum in the college’s academic departments and average a cumulative 3.6 (out of 4.0) GPA. According to Smith, the college’s scholarship selection committee consisted of faculty from every department of the college, which considered nearly 400 applications.
The college has an online platform for students applying for scholarships, which simplifies the process into a singular submission for the scholarship selection committee. The process gained popularity through a national poll that ranked the College of Agriculture as the fourth best in the country.
Many of the donations provide for the scholarships comes from current and historical Montana producers and generations of families who have long and storied connections to the college.
Many of the scholarships given to the students dates back to1950s, and continues today bearing a family name from a farm or ranch, or former MSU Cooperative Extension agents, or Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. Other scholarships were sponsored in the name of regional and local agribusinesses, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Montana FFA, Montana Cattlewomen’s Association, First Security Bank, Alpha Zeta Society, statewide crop and College of Agriculture Alumni.