BASF Partners With Agriculture Future of America and Murray State University to Endow Scholarship in Honor of Former BASF Employee
Scott Kay, BASF Vice President, US Agricultural Solutions; and Mark Stewart, AFA President and CEO, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Murray State University to enact The Rocky Napier Scholarship.
KANSAS CITY, MO. (January 26, 2023) — In partnership with Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and Murray State University, BASF recently announced the endowment of a scholarship in honor of former employee, Rocky Napier. The Rocky Napier Scholarship is funded by BASF and will provide Murray State University students with a scholarship and attendance to AFA Leaders Conference every year.
Scott Kay — BASF Vice President, US Agricultural Solutions — founded the scholarship on behalf of Napier to honor his life and legacy. Napier, a more than 25-year employee with BASF, was well-known within the agriculture industry and had a passion for education and mentorship.
“Rocky was the most selfless person and was committed to the development of everyone around him — both industry professionals and students,” says Kay. “BASF is proud to endow the scholarship in Rocky’s name to continue the dedication he showed to the agriculture industry, as well as his investment in college students.”
In 2000, Napier had a vision to further BASF’s involvement on Murray State University’s farm. He started a collaboration with the university to turn underutilized fields into BASF research and development plots. Napier began hosting field days at the plots — later known as Rocky’s Field Day — to provide research-based solutions for farmers and opportunities for students to see research trials first-hand.
“Rocky was very visionary and forward thinking,” says Dr. Tony Brannon, Dean of Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University. “He believed in Murray State and our hands-on farm education, and worked on the research plots, many hours on his own time. He’s certainly someone to be honored and has left a legacy that will impact students and the agricultural industry for years to come.”
Prior to his long-standing career with BASF, Napier taught vocational agriculture as a high school and adult teacher in Kentucky. Throughout his career, Napier carried his educational philosophy with him, which allowed him to excel in his career and become a pillar in the BASF and Murray State University communities.
“It’s fitting to have a scholarship in Rocky’s name because he was a teacher,” says Dale Ashby, friend and former colleague of Napier. “He took great pride in teaching and continued to be a mentor throughout his life. If I had to hand pick anyone to have a scholarship named in their honor, it would be Rocky.”
Students selected to receive the Rocky Napier Scholarship will receive a scholarship toward their education, as well as sponsorship to attend AFA Leaders Conference. AFA Leaders Conference is a four-day event that bridges the gap between college and career, and provides the tools for professional success for college students studying food, agriculture and natural resources.
“AFA is honored to host a scholarship in honor of Rocky, who made a lasting impact on agriculture and his communities,” says Mark Stewart, AFA President and CEO. “While Rocky did not have a direct connection to AFA, his ideals, philosophies and core mission of developing young talent tie directly to the mission of AFA. We are honored and grateful to carry Rocky’s legacy to benefit the future leaders of our industry.”
To donate to the Rocky Napier Scholarship, visit bit.ly/3FAUzSb.
BASF continues to prioritize the support of students at various levels through ongoing scholarships as well as hands-on learning programs.
“The needs of our rapidly changing planet are growing at a speed that requires a tenacious pool of scholars, poised to meet its demands,” says Kay. “BASF is thrilled to support the students, learning, leading and meeting these challenges head-on at ground level.”
About Agriculture Future of America
AFA builds bridges for young leaders to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture through premier leader and career development experiences. With program participation increasing 28% in the last five years, AFA has provided 24,000 leader development experiences to college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 43 states since its inception in 1996. AFA has awarded more than $11 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit agfuture.org.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture and future generations. In 2021, our division generated sales of €8.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,700 employees in North America and had sales of $25.9 billion in 2021. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com/us.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.
About Murray State University
Since 1922, Murray State University has provided a collaborative, opportunity-rich living and learning community that fosters personal growth and professional success through a high-quality college experience. Students receive support from inspiring faculty and staff and will join a distinctive campus community — the Racer Family. With nearly 10,000 students, Murray State prepares the next generation of leaders to join more than 80,000 successful alumni who make a difference in their community, across the country and around the world. We are Racers. The University’s main campus is located in Murray, Kentucky, and includes five regional campuses in Ft. Campbell, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Paducah. To learn more about Murray State University, please visit murraystate.edu.