Syngenta announces 2018 scholarship recipients


College students are constantly on the cutting edge of innovation in agriculture and are the future of our industry. Syngenta congratulates Tennessee State University master’s student Uzoamaka Abana and University of Minnesota bachelor’s student Sierra Williamson as the national winners of the fifth annual Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship.

Abana and Williamson were selected out of more than 150 eligible applicants who shared stories of how they found their passion in agriculture. Applicants were also asked how they hope to benefit today’s and tomorrow’s world through their work in the agricultural field.

“These students are the future of our industry, and Syngenta is proud to support them as they continue their education,” said Mary Streett DeMers, senior communications lead, Syngenta. “It is an honor to present these two promising students with the Syngenta Agricultural Scholarship.”

Abana and Williamson each received $6,000 in national awards, in addition to the $1,000 they received when selected as regional winners. These awards will assist them in meeting financial obligations and realizing their educational and career goals.

Uzoamaka AbanaUzoamaka AbanaIn her essay, Abana describes visiting her grandmother’s self-sufficient farm in Nigeria. These visits to the African country sparked her interest in helping farmers like her grandmother become more efficient in growing food for their communities and led to her pursuit of a degree and career in agriculture.

“My professional goal is to be a dedicated, proactive member of a dynamic and highly motivated research team that is committed to producing quality results,” said Abana. “Also, I aspire to be involved in agricultural extension practices, whether in my career or in the community.”

Williamson hopes to “benefit humanity by improving the quality and production of food.” Raised in rural Minnesota, she shared that her family instilled a great respect for the agriculture industry and an interest in meeting future challenges in food production around the world. Her involvement as an officer in the National FFA Organization and other volunteer organizations demonstrates her commitment to the agriculture industry.

“My greatest long-term professional objective is to assist in solving the global problem of providing adequate food to feed the world,” said Williamson. “I hope my career will contribute to meeting future food demands, ensuring food supplies are safe and nutritious, creating safe farming environments, and providing jobs to people who have none.”

Five additional students were awarded a $1,000 regional scholarship prize. Recipients were undergraduate students Jake Johnson (Mississippi State University), Kayla Beechinor (Washington State University), and Dana Mulligan (Virginia Tech), and graduate students Alexa Davis (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Kaitlin Hadaway (Washington State University).

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