Lincoln Land Community College continues to grow it’s agriculture program. The Brandt Foundation donated $100,000 to LLCC on June 29th to create an endowed scholarship program for in-demand careers in agronomy and plant nutrition.
Initially, two new BRANDT Foundation Scholarships will be awarded to LLCC students pursuing an associate in applied science degree in precision agronomy/fertilizer or a certificate in fertilizer. Karen Sanders, executive director of the LLCC Foundation, says that the scholarship program is a testament to the Brandt Family’s 65 years of service to local agriculture community. “I think it is a testament to community, and in that, Brandt has locations throughout our Lincoln Land Community College district. It’s really community giving back to community college students, and we think that’s really special.”
According to Lincoln Land’s agronomy program information, precision agronomy students historically have at least three job offers before graduation. Sanders says the scholarships are going to help turn those students into employees sooner: “This is a really nice addition to the work that’s going on in the program. I think what’s wonderful about our precision ag program is that to continue on this momentum with moving from great to excellent with our ag program – we are also developing an accelerated precision ag program that’s going to run throughout the year and graduate our students faster and get them into the hands-on training and in that job faster than ever before. It’s one of the things that we have heard from our business and industry partners, especially in this field. They really need these employees. We really wanted to work with those partners and how to make that happen. BRANDT stepped up and is providing these additional scholarships to make that happen for these particular students.”
The Brandt Foundation has a long history with Lincoln Land’s precision agriculture and fertilizer programs. For over 20 years, BRANDT has paid tuition and fees for students who are then hired by the company. BRANDT also sponsors internships for LLCC ag students and opens its facilities to students studying fertilizer equipment and plant operations. BRANDT shares its precision map and soil test data sets with LLCC classes, and established research plots on the LLCC campus in Springfield and at the LLCC research farm in Blue Mound, Illinois.
LLCC’s ag program has grown over the last year, with a new ag facility opening on the Springfield campus in January 2021. Sanders says that the new scholarships are a welcome addition to the LLCC Foundation’s $350,000 worth of scholarships that are awarded to approximately 250 students campus wide annually.