New FFA scholarships at Ancilla College
Ancilla College has announced two new scholarships for students interested in earning degrees in the school’s two agriculture programs. Ancilla is opening the scholarships for students who are members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). The FFA is an high school and college-level student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership.
“We are creating these scholarships to help support students who want to pursue an agriculture degree and the wide variety of experiences, career goals, and higher education plans that our programs offer,” said Ancilla’s agriculture program director Tim McLochlin.
“The Ancilla College FFA Scholarship is open to high school graduates and transfer students who are active members of the FFA. The scholarship award pays $1,000 towards Ancilla tuition and is renewable for every year the student attends Ancilla,” McLochlin said.
Students will need to go online at Ancilla’s website and complete an application and request a letter of support from their high school’s FFA adviser. Students need to have a grade of ‘B’ or better (a 3.0 on a 4.0 grade scale) to be awarded the scholarship.
A second scholarship, the Ancilla FFA Leadership Award, is a competitive scholarship program also open to FFA members.
“We think the Leadership Award is really cool because it is a creative way for students to share their interest and passion for agriculture. It was created to attract talented student leaders from FFA programs around the country to earn agriculture degrees at Ancilla College,” McLochlin said.
The FFA Leadership Scholarship will be awarded to three students selected for $2,000, $1,000 or $500 annual awards (renewable).
Students will produce a video on “Why Agriculture is Important” no more than 10 minutes long, explaining why they want to pursue a degree in Agriculture. The video should be produced by the student but can include high school FFA peers, teachers, and family members. Awardees will be selected for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place scholarships, by Ancilla College faculty and a select award committee, based on the presentation of ideas and goals, originality, and clarity.
All scholarships are paid with the understanding that the money will be used for Ancilla College tuition, fees, books, and equipment required for classes to attain a degree in Agriculture (Animal Science or Crop Science) from Ancilla College.
A complete list of criteria and scholarship applications are available online at www.ancilla.edu/ffa. The deadline to apply is June 2nd. Scholarships will be awarded in early June.
FFA is a dynamic youth organization within agricultural education that changes lives and prepares students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. Although FFA was created in 1928 as Future Farmers of America, the name was changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization to represent the growing diversity of agriculture. Today, almost half a million student members are engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities, leading to over 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industry. Student success remains the primary mission of FFA.
What do the letters F-F-A stand for?
The letters FFA stand for Future Farmers of America; however, the official name of the organization was changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization. Over the past 75 years, the FFA and agricultural education have grown to encompass all aspects of agriculture, from production farming, agribusiness and forestry to biotechnology, marketing and food processing.
The Ancilla FFA Scholarships can be used to help pay tuition at Ancilla College and can be combined with regional, state fair, state and national FFA scholarships. Each year, the National FFA Organization awards approximately $2 million in scholarships sponsored by businesses and individuals through the National FFA Foundation.
New ag degree program
Ancilla is launching a new animal science degree this year, designed to teach students about animal biology and genetics, nutrition, physiology, growth, behavior, and the management of cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, and horses.
“We started with crop science, which is natural. When you think about Indiana agriculture, most people imagine vast fields of corn and soybeans. And while those crops are extremely important to Indiana, the state produces so much more, and Ancilla is located right in the center of everything,” McLochlin said.
“Animal science was the logical next step. Indiana is in the top five for crop production, thanks to the richness of our corn and soybean production, but it’s also ranked fifth in the nation for swine production and third for poultry,” he said.
“Offering both animal science and crop science, supported by the farmers at the Ancilla Beef & Grain Farm, means that Ancilla College can open the door to earning a college degree that accelerates students into their chosen profession with real hands-on experience,” said Ancilla president Dr. Ken Zirkle.
“These are important degree programs for us, but really they are extremely important for our region and the communities surrounding Ancilla. Business owners and community leaders have told us over and over that they need people who can help staff and grow local and regional businesses—many of which are agriculture related,” Zirkle said.
The new animal science program will also feature Boer goat development, physiology, and management. The school received a donation of Boar goats this spring and they have already been producing offspring (called kids) that students are taking care of.
“We’ve had huge interest in both programs already,” McLochlin said. “I can see us expanding the programs and enrolling a lot of talented students. The new scholarships will also help gain attention for us as we expand the number of courses we’re offering.”
Ancilla College places fourth in national ag conference
College students from across the United States converged on Kansas last week to take part in the annual North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) educational conference. Students from Ancilla, which now offers two agriculture degree programs in animal science and crop science, took part.
NACTA is a professional society that focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning agriculture and related disciplines at the college level. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year colleges, public and private.
“It was an awesome and rewarding opportunity for Ancilla students. They were engaged and involved with ag students from around the country,” Ancilla College agriculture program director Tim McLochlin said.
Ancilla’s students competed in the Agribusiness Contest. It consisted of a presentation of a scenario about a farm operation that wanted to expand its operation to include an ‘Agro-tourism’ piece that would allow their son and daughter to become involved in the family operation.
“They had to wade through all types of financial information and develop a four minute presentation to a panel of judges for a business proposal,” McLochlin said.
“Their presentation was very well received and was the highest scoring presentation in the two-year division. We even did well against the leading ag schools. We were only outscored by Iowa State by 1 point. Ancilla ended up in 4th place overall. So for the smallest school, in their 1st attempt, I was very happy!” he said.
Ancilla students Dustin Kerckhove, Ainsleigh Adamson, Jenneal Brown, Bryan Thompson and Tyler Binkley all took part. They were able to talk with some of the country’s largest university agriculture program specialists about their post-Ancilla plans as well.
“We got to learn about different transfer programs where we can continue our education after Ancilla. We also got to learn some ways that we can shape and build our own program as we move into the future,” said freshman agriculture student Ainsleigh Adamson.
- Indiana population, 6,620,000 people (2015 est.)
- Ag-related jobs in Indiana: 246,000
- Value of agriculture products sold in Indiana: $11.2 billion
- Number of broilers (chickens) sold in Indiana (2014): 42 million
- Pounds of popcorn produced in Indiana: 151 million
- Number of hogs and pigs raised in Indiana: 1.3 million
Sources: Ancilla College Agriculture program and US Department of Agriculture https://data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?reportPath=/StateFactSheets/StateFactSheets&StateFIPS=18