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 seed money certainly helps. Thanks to the generous support of BASF and Thrush Aircraft, $20,000 in aid is available through the 2023 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program to assist four aspiring ag pilots in their journey.
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. 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 from BASF and Thrush.
This year, NAAA will award up to four scholarships valued at $5,000 each. Investing in aspiring ag aviators 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 2023 scholarship, along with completing the two-part application, 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 the applicant wants to pursue a career in agricultural aviation and how they would use NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship to further their education and training.
- A one-page résumé or list of activities detailing all agricultural and aviation experiences, education and training.
Last year NAAA awarded $5,000 scholarships to Ross Edwards
of Sherwood, Arkansas; Tommy Koebel of
Geneva, Illinois; Drew Kroeplin of Highmore, South Dakota; and Adam Jacobs of Graymont, Illinois (pictured above with his sponsor, Scott Petersen, at left, of Pontiac Flying LLC). NAAA will announce
the recipients of the 2023 “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarships in December at
the Ag Aviation Expo in Palm Springs, California.
To learn more about the 2023 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship, review the application instructions and checklist.
Applicants must apply using NAAA’s online application. The applicant will fill out ALL applicant and sponsor information. The NAAA Operator Sponsor must write a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Upload all required material noted in the Application Checklist and any additional supporting documentation using the Ag Wings of Tomorrow Scholarship’s online application portal.
A link to the scholarship application portal can also be found at AgAviation.org/scholarship.
Please contact NAAA at (202) 546-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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 applying for the scholarship. Still, becoming an NAAA Associate member is an excellent way for candidates to learn more about the industry and augment their training.
The deadline to apply for the 2023 “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship is Aug. 31.
With the introduction of the new Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship this year, applicants may only apply for one NAAA pilot-training scholarship per year. They can apply for the NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship or the Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship, but not both in the same year.
NAAA Operator members may only sponsor one NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship applicant a year. They can also sponsor a Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship applicant in the same year, but the applicants cannot be the same person applying for both scholarships in the same year.
Two $3,000 scholarships are available for turbine training to eligible NAAA Operator and Pilot members applying for the 2023 Charles Stokes Memorial Turbine Training Scholarship.