MAHOMET, Ill. — Applications for Farm Credit Illinois’ annual agriculture scholarship and community improvement grant programs are open until Feb. 28, 2023. As higher education costs continue to rise, the cooperative increased scholarships for high school seniors from $2,000 to $2,500 this year.
High school seniors pursuing a career in agriculture are invited to apply for a $2,500 Farm Credit Illinois Agriculture Scholarship. Thirty scholarships will be awarded in 2023 with two recipients designated as Diversity in Agriculture Scholars.
Recipients are selected based on a combination of academic achievement, participation and leadership in school and community organizations, and the applicant’s commitment to an agricultural career. Applicants must be high school seniors enrolling in a college or university during the 2023 fall semester to pursue an agriculture-related academic major and career. Applicants must reside in – or immediate family must farm in – one of 60 central and southern counties in Illinois served by FCI. Recipients will receive $1,250 for the fall 2023 semester and $1,250 for fall 2025 semester.
Community Improvement Grants
Farm Credit Illinois also invites 4-H clubs and FFA chapters organizing projects to apply for a $500 Community Improvement Grant.
Fifty $500 grants will be awarded to assist youth members in bringing positive change to their local community. Clubs should choose a project that delivers tangible value where the outcome is visible. Farm Credit encourages collaboration with other local organizations to develop and complete the improvement project.
Online applications for the scholarship and grant programs are available at www.farmcreditIL.com and must be submitted by February 28. Questions or requests for additional information may be sent to ask@farmcreditIL.com.
“Investing in today’s youth is critical to the success of agriculture tomorrow,” says Aaron Johnson, FCI president and CEO. “Farm Credit Illinois’ Agriculture Scholarship and Community Improvement Grant programs help these future leaders develop skills and knowledge to grow and strengthen rural communities.”
Farm Credit Illinois (FCI) is an agricultural financial cooperative owned by 18,000 farmer, rural landowner, and agribusiness voting stockholder members in the southern 60 counties of Illinois. Dedicated to Helping Farm Families Succeed, FCI provides competitive and flexible financing, crop insurance expertise, and Rural 1st® country life lending. FCI manages a $5.6 billion loan portfolio, sells 1.5 million acres of crop insurance coverage, and employs 260 staff in the Mahomet headquarters and 14 regional offices. The Association will return $40 million of 2022 earnings as cash patronage to member-borrowers in 2023. The U.S. Farm Credit System is a network of locally owned cooperatives supporting rural communities, farm families, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow.
— Farm Credit Illinois