From seeking a mentor to finding the funds for training, the road to becoming an ag pilot is fraught with obstacles but having $5,000 in training money certainly helps. Thanks to the generous support of BASF and Thrush Aircraft, $20,000 in aid is available under the 2019 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program to assist four aspiring ag pilots in their journey. The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarships is Aug. 31.
The goal of NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program is to strengthen the aerial application industry by helping operator members bring new pilots into the profession and help fund their training. Applicants must be sponsored by an NAAA Operator member, and scholarship recipients may use the proceeds for flight training or aviation or ag-related coursework at a university, college, community college or other institution of higher learning. A stipend for a trainee in an NAAA Operator-sponsored apprentice program is also permissible. The scholarship program is administered by NAAA and funded by educational grants provided by BASF and Thrush.
This year, NAAA will award up to four scholarships valued at $5,000 each. This is a win-win for NAAA Operator members and individuals seeking training funds to support their pursuit of becoming a professional ag pilot.
How to Apply
To be considered for the 2019 scholarship, every applicant must submit:
—A letter of recommendation from the NAAA Operator member sponsoring the applicant.
—An essay of 250 words or less explaining why you want to pursue a career in agricultural aviation and how you would use NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship to further your education and training.
—A one-page résumé or list of activities detailing all agricultural and aviation experiences, education and training.
NAAA will award the recipients of the 2019 “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarships in November at the Ag Aviation Expo in Orlando. Last year NAAA awarded $5,000 scholarships to four young individuals who represent the future of ag aviation: Parker Gore of Cleveland, Miss.; Emory Lobley of Dalhart, Texas; Walter Meise of Moses Lake, Wash.; and Will Souther of Douglas, Ga.
To learn more about the 2019 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship, review the application instructions at AgAviation.org/scholarship. The application is available for download from the same scholarship webpage. Please contact NAAA’s Jay Calleja at (202) 546-5722 for clarification about any of the application requirements.
While the applicant must be sponsored by an NAAA Operator member, NAAA membership is not a prerequisite for the person applying for the scholarship. Becoming an NAAA Associate member, however, is a great way for candidates to learn more about the industry and augment their training.
All “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship applications must be received or postmarked by Aug. 31, 2019, to be eligible for scholarship consideration. Entries may be submitted by mail, fax or email to:
NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship1440 Duke StreetAlexandria, VA 22314
Fax: (202) 546-5726