High school seniors pursuing a career in agriculture are invited to apply for a $2,000 Farm Credit Illinois Agriculture Scholarship. Thirty scholarships will be given in 2021 with two recipients designated as Diversity in Agriculture Scholars.

Recipients are selected based on a combination of academic achievement, participation and leadership in school and community organizations, and the applicant’s commitment to an agricultural career. Applicants must be high school seniors enrolling in a college or university during the 2021 fall semester to pursue an agriculture-related academic major and career. Applicants must reside in – or immediate family must farm in – one of 60 central and southern counties in Illinois served by FCI. Recipients will receive $1,000 for the fall 2021 semester and $1,000 for fall 2023 semester.

Farm Credit Illinois also invites 4-H clubs and FFA chapters organizing projects to apply for a $500 Community Improvement Grant.

Fifty $500 grants will be awarded to assist youth members in bringing positive change to their local community. Clubs should choose a project that delivers tangible value where the outcome is visible. Farm Credit encourages collaboration with other local organizations to develop and complete the improvement project.

Online applications for the scholarship and grant programs are available at www.farmcreditIL.com and must be submitted by March 12. Questions or requests for additional information may be sent to ask@farmcreditIL.com.

“Supporting today’s youth is an investment in tomorrow’s agriculture community,” says Aaron Johnson, FCI president and CEO. “Farm Credit delivers the Agriculture Scholarship and Community Improvement Grant programs to prepare future leaders to contribute to the health of rural communities and agriculture today and tomorrow.”

Farm Credit Illinois (FCI) is a farmer-owned and directed agricultural cooperative serving 16,000 farmer, rural landowner, and agribusiness voting stockholder members in the southern 60 counties of Illinois. Dedicated to Helping Farm Families Succeed, FCI provides competitive and flexible financing, crop insurance expertise, and Rural 1st® country life lending. FCI manages a $4.8 billion loan portfolio, sells 1.4 million acres of crop insurance coverage, and employs 244 staff based in the Mahomet headquarters and 14 regional office locations. The Association will deliver additional cooperative value by returning $40 million of 2020 earnings as cash patronage to member-owners in 2021. The U.S. Farm Credit System supports rural communities, farm families, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow.

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