July 19, 2017

Two from SIU win Illinois Soybean Association scholarships

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Two students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale earned crop science scholarships from the Illinois Soybean Association. 

Sarah Dintelmann of Belleville and Kelsey Smith from Pinckneyville, both crop, soil and environmental management majors, earned scholarships for the coming academic year. Scholarship winners typically become or are already involved in soybean research at their universities. 

Dintelmann, a chemistry minor, is interested in continuing research once she completes her degree. She is working now at the SIU Belleville Research Center. 

Smith has worked with Stella Kantartzi, associate professor of plant, soil and agricultural systems, on soybean breeding projects, and works now with David Lightfoot, professor biotechnology and genomics. 

Both students are involved with the SIU Agronomy Society, a student organization that promotes a scientific approach to sustainable agriculture, including precision agriculture and organic farming. Jason Bond, professor of plant, soil and agricultural systems, is the faculty adviser. He encourages his students to launch their own research projects, and to present them at academic and professional conferences welcoming to student research. 

Bond said the relationship between ISA and higher education, including the scholarship checkoff, is part of the overall picture that helps students keep their focus on careers in agriculture. 

“Illinois soybean farmers see the scholarship program as an investment in our future,” John Longley, ISA production and outreach committee chairperson. “To feed the growing world population on the same amount of acres and in a continued sustainable manner, we have to educate future researchers so they can help improve soybean production.” 

The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program funds the scholarships. ISA represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois.