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Applications now accepted All students are encouraged to applyfor ‘agvocate’ program

Applications are currently being accepted to become an “agvocate” through the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA). Agvocates will receive a $3,000 scholarship to be used for qualified education expenses and will develop leadership skills while receiving first-hand experience working on issues important to corn farmers and advocating for agriculture.

Completed applications must be received by MCGA no later than Friday, April 18. Finalists will be interviewed, and agvocates will be chosen by Friday, May 23.

Applicants must have strong written and verbal communications skills and be enrolled in a two-year or four-year post-secondary education or training program. One-year terms begin in June 2014.

Applicants do not need to be corn farmers or come from a farm family to qualify. Applicants also do not need to be enrolled in an agriculture-related discipline. Anyone with an interest in corn farming and agriculture is encouraged to apply.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get real-world experience working on important issues related to corn farming and agriculture,” said Ryan Buck, MCGA president. “It’s also a great opportunity for MCGA to develop a new generation of leaders. Agvocates play a key role in building new connections with non-farmers, which is one of the main challenges farmers face today.”

Past agvocates also share MCGA’s excitement for the program.

“As an agvocate, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of unique things on behalf of Minnesota’s corn farmers,” said Kevin Welter, who has served as an agvocate for two years. “I’ve talked farming issues with elected leaders in St. Paul. I’ve engaged in conversations with non-farmers at the State Fair. I’ve even dressed up as MCGA’s mascot, Maizey, and played basketball during halftime of a Gophers game. It’s been a great and fulfilling experience.”

The agvocate program is entering its fifth year and is one of many initiatives supported by Minnesota’s corn farmers to develop the next generation of ag leaders.

To learn more about becoming an agvocate or about MCGA, visit or follow @mncorn on Twitter.