AFA National Leader and Academic Scholarship

Agriculture Future of America provides support to future leaders in agriculture from across the country through the AFA Leader and Academic Scholarship program. Scholarships seek to identify young leaders in the agriculture and food industry to enter AFA’s leader development program and receive an academic scholarship to support their academic education. AFA awards 40-50 National Leader and Academic Scholarships annually. The different opportunities are listed below.

AFA National Leader and Academic Scholarships Include:

  • AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships: AFA provides 30-35 AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors or current college students, enrolling/enrolled in a agriculture-related, four-year degree program in the United States. These scholarships are supported by AFA Organizational Partners.

  • The American Royal Association, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has been a Kansas City tradition since 1899, celebrates the region's rich agricultural heritage through competition, education and entertainment. As a not-for-profit community volunteer based organization, the American Royal raises funds to fulfill its vision and mission though endowments, contributions, sponsorships and event revenues. As partners in the Kansas City Community, the American Royal provides three AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships with preference given to Midwest students with some past experience with the American Royal, although not required.
  • The Belles of the American Royal (BOTAR) Organization provides four AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships to female, Midwest agriculture students with a special interest in agriculture education . This scholarship provides a $3,200 academic tuition/fees scholarship, $1,000 registration fee for AFA Leaders Conference and the opportunity for the student to attend the BOTAR General Membership Meeting in January of her initial scholarship selection year. This scholarship is renewable up to three times if all scholarship requirements are fulfilled and at the discretion of the BOTAR committee. If a student receives this scholarship an additional three times, she will be asked to attend the BOTAR General Membership Meeting in her senior year as well, to share about her experiences.
    • Students eligible to receive the AFA Leader and Academic Scholarship provided by BOTAR must:
      • Be a female student pursuing a four-year degree in Agriculture Education or related field in the Midwest. 
      • Attend the BOTAR General Membership Meeting in January of her initial scholarship selection year. 
      • Meet all the AFA scholarship criteria and requirements listed above. 
      • Please list any involvement in or volunteer work at the American Royal. This is not a requirement.
  • The California Cotton Alliance is a non-profit foundation with a primary mission to provide funding for cotton research. Additionally, however, the Alliance wishes to support academic and scholarship initiatives throughout the state of California. The Alliance is providing five scholarships to students currently attending California institutions and pursuing an agriculture or related major. Preference will be giving to students originally from the state of California, but scholarships are not limited to that criteria.

  • The Cyr Foundation provides one AFA Leader and Academic scholarship. The Roderick J. And Jo Anne Cyr Foundation is proud to support this initiative for their long-standing belief in youth and education. Rod grew up on a farm in Maine and the family is still supportive of his interests and agrarian initiatives. High school seniors, as well as current undergraduate college students, are eligible to apply.

  • DFA Cares Foundation provides two AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships to students from throughout the country who express an interest in a career in the dairy industry. High school seniors, as well as current undergraduate college students, are eligible to apply.

  • Farm Credit Mid America provides eight AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships to college students in their four state territory of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Preference will be given to upper-class students, but graduating high school seniors will also be considered. As one of the largest associations within the Farm Credit System, Farm Credit Mid-America is an agricultural lending cooperative owned and controlled by its customers. Nearly 100,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents turn to its knowledgeable staff of 1,100 employees for financial services crucial to making their situation more stable and productive.

  • The Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, named after the late Founder of AMC Theaters and active philanthropist, provides five AFA Leader and Academic Scholarships to students identified and selected by AFA. The Trustees of the Foundation believe in continuing to provide access to education and are assisting in this effort by providing these five scholarships to deserving AFA delegates. These scholarships are only available for graduating high school seniors. 

  • St. Paul- based AgriBank, one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, awards The William J. Collins Scholarship each year to honor the service of a dedicated former employee. This scholarship is awarded to children of Farm Credit employees in the AgriBank District (Board of Directors Excluded) who are graduating high school seniors planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in an agriculture-related program.
    • Each year, two $2,000 academic tuition/fees scholarships are awarded. The scholarships also provide sponsorship for AFA Leaders Conference the Fall of the freshman year of college, a $1,000 value.
    • To be considered for this award, applicants must provide three letters of reference, under same or separate cover, that recognize the applicant’s personal, academic or leadership character. Letters should be received by the application deadline, and can be mailed to AFA at: Agriculture Future of America, ATTN: William J. Collins Scholarship, P.O. Box 414838, Kansas City, MO 64141

Details and Policy


  • Awards vary from community partner to nationally available scholarships. 
  • The same application will be used for all scholarships offered by AFA. Some scholarships may have additional requirements, so please read each scholarship detail closely. 
  • All scholarships include a leader development award to attend the AFA Leaders Conference (November of scholarship year in Kansas City, Mo.), of which full attendance is required to receive the full academic scholarship. 
  • Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of career vision and goal, leader and community involvement, and financial need. 


  • Scholars must attend the entire AFA Leaders Conference in order to receive scholarship funds.
  • The AFA scholarship can only be awarded once a year. To apply for an additional scholarship the following year the previous funding must be spent. 
  • Scholars must request funds by providing a copy of university tuition, fees or books (if billed through the university) to AFA.
  • The AFA scholarship will not cover room and board expenses. 
  • Scholars must request funds while enrolled as a full time student.
  • Funds are dissolved after completion of a bachelor’s degree, if not requested before graduation or if proof of balance owed is insufficient.
  • Student must continue to meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Pursue a bachelor’s degree
    • Study agriculture or related field
    • Remain in good academic standing with my university
    • Maintain full-time class status

Please contact AFA at or 816-472-4232 with questions.