Imagine what the agriculture industry will look like in 15 years. Think of the technology potential, the advancements in seed science and the new generation of leaders that will be contributing to the success of the field. Garst Seed Company not only thinks about the future, but also invests in it by supporting the educational careers of promising young leaders.

The Slater, Iowa-based seed company recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to 26 FFA students pursuing college degrees in the field of agriculture. Among this year's recipients are future crop scientists, seed sales managers, farm broadcasters, marketing specialists and U.S. farmers. Garst committed $75,000 to the FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program in 2005 as part of its 75th anniversary celebration and pledged to award 75 $1,000 scholarships over a three-year period.

"This is truly an investment in not just the students' futures, but in Garst's future as a leading provider of cutting-edge crop technology and services," says Lori Thomas, communications manager for Garst. "Our company understands that today's FFA students are tomorrow's ag leaders who will help shape the future of our industry. We were thrilled to help these students begin their careers in agriculture, and now we'll see a return on our investment in the years to come."

Garst awarded five scholarships to students studying ag communications or ag education; 10 to ag marketing, merchandising or sales degrees; and 11 to students pursuing any ag-related degree. The following high school and college students were awarded a $1,000 FFA scholarship from Garst:

Clay Blum, York, Neb.
Loyd Britt, Glasgow, Ky.
Emily Craig, Flagler, Colo.
Christopher Dean, Linn Grove, Iowa
Mason Eberts, South Heart, N.D.
Linda Ervin, Afton, Okla.
Gretchen Ettredge, Pilot Point, Texas
Josie Evenson, Kalispell, Mont.
Farah Geiger, New Town, N.D.
John Gill, Richmond, Mo.
Shelby Haag, Bartley, Neb.
Ashley Hampson, Pleasant Hope, Mo.
Richie Heinrich, Medina, N.D.
Sarah Kinder, Greenfield, Ind.
Katie King, Rockford, Ohio
Shane Kinne, Eagleville, Mo.
Jennifer Kyle, Clermont, Fla.
Michala Lindley, Laramie, Wyo.
Ilissa Nolan, Gilmer, Texas
Kyra OBrien, Hepler, Kan.
Andrea Pierson, Bridger, Mont.
Torie Schwartz, Rossville, Ind.
Tara Smithwick, Krum, Texas
Seth Sowder, Sudan, Texas
Jamie Stevenson, Rockville, Neb.
Jason Unruh, Peabody, Kan.

Garst gives more than scholarship money to FFA students. Every year, Garst creates and distributes a unique, hands-on classroom curriculum to FFA instructors to help them teach students about the importance of marketing and promoting agriculture. The 2007 curriculum is now available for instructors to download, free of charge, on the Garst Web site,

This year's curriculum theme is Technologies of the Future, and students are asked to develop ideas and think about marketing plans for a seed company about to launch an innovative new seed product, such as ultra-low linolenic soybeans or drought-tolerant corn.

As a bonus incentive for using the curriculum, FFA chapters can compete in Garst's FFA Commercial Competition and vie for $7,500 in cash and prizes. This year, students will develop advertisements for radio, print or television and a public relations campaign based on an innovative seed product. Entries are due Oct. 6, 2007, and winners will be announced at the National FFA Convention. Ag instructors may request the curriculum and competition materials by sending an e-mail to or by downloading them from Garst's Web site.