Colin Lowry of Ephrata, Washington, and John Nienhuis of Lawton, North Dakota, received Agricultural Aviation Scholarships from NAAA and BASF of $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. The two winners were honored during the 49th Annual NAAA Convention & Exposition kickoff breakfast in Savannah, Georgia.
Lowry is currently enrolled at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington, where he is pursuing his Commercial Pilot certificate. After receiving his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification, Lowy will continue following the path to become an aerial applicator.
Nienhuis is currently attending North Dakota State University, studying general agriculture. Using the scholarship to help finish his general agriculture degree, Nienhuis will begin flight training while finishing his degree, as opposed to later in his career.
“Aerial application is crucial to the agricultural industry,” said Gary Fellows, Ph.D., Technical Market Manager, BASF. “With today’s chemical and technical advancements in agriculture, we have to constantly work to make sure our aerial applicators are safe and effective in the skies.”
Like most jobs in the agriculture industry, most view ariel application as lifestyle rather than a career. BASF and NAAA are committed to the education and safety of agriculture aviators. BASF is sponsoring Operation S.A.F.E. (Self-Regulating Application and Flight Efficiency) to encourage participation in stewardship programs and clinics.
“Aerial application is crucial to our industry,” Fellows said. “Ultimately, it helps growers succeed, and we’re proud to help organizations like NAAA ensure a successful future.”