NCGA Research Ambassador Program

NCGA Research Ambassador Program

What is the NCGA Research Ambassador Program?


The purpose of the NCGA Research Ambassador Program is to build a network of future leaders in the agriculture sector. Students will be selected each year to receive financial support as well as travel and networking opportunities.


Ambassadors must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and be involved in research relevant to corn production.  


Why apply?

Students selected as NCGA Research Ambassadors will receive the following:


  1. Financial award of $2,500 directly to the student;
  2. Up to $750 for registration and travel reimbursement for participation in scientific research conferences;
  3. Fully-funded travel to participate in NCGA events throughout the year, which could include grower research committee meetings, congressional visits at the state or federal level, Commodity Classic, Corn Congress, farm field days, etc.


Who can apply?

Applicants must meet the following criteria:


  1. Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  2. Current enrollment as a graduate student with identified advisor
  3. Involved in research broadly related to corn production (breeding, genetics, computer science, engineering, etc.).
  4. Available to fully participate in the program, which includes travel to at least one NCGA grower meeting. NCGA travel opportunities will fall during the academic year and/or summer field season. Potential travel dates include the following:
    1. NCGA Grower Committee Meetings | January 14-16, 2025 | Louisville, KY
    2. Commodity Classic  | March 1-4, 2025 | Denver, CO
    3. NCGA Corn Congress | July 14-17, 2025 | Washington, D.C.

While any student meeting the above criteria may apply, preference will be given to students involved in research associated with the Genomes to Fields research network.





What are the deadlines and dates?

Applications must be submitted no later than May 20, 2024, 11:59 PM PDT. Awards will be announced in June 2024. Program duration will be August 2024 through July 2025.



2023-2024 Research Ambassadors

Travis Banet, University of Kentucky

Jensina Davis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ella Hampson, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Max Harman, Michigan State University

Leannah Hicks, University of Massachusetts

Sendi Mejia Jimenez, Purdue University

Ty Thomas, North Carolina State University

Alexandria Tran, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

2022-2023 Research Ambassadors

Julian Cooper, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Brendan Hanson, Purdue University

Kirsten Hein, Colorado State University

Aimee Schulz, Cornell University

John Searl, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Seth Tolley, Purdue University

Rachel Veenstra, Kansas State University

Brandon Webster, Michigan State University



2021-2022 Research Ambassadors

Corey Schultz, University of Georgia

Dylan L. Schoemaker, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Matthew J. Runyon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  

Alden Perkins, University of Wisconsin-Madison  

Claire Menard, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities