"Ag Wings of Tomorrow" Scholarship

Up to four scholarships, $20,000 in training money available from BASF and Thrush

How does $5,000 sound to help someone pursue their dream of becoming a professional ag pilot? Thanks to the generous support of BASF and Thrush Aircraft, $20,000 in aid is available under the 2018 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program to assist four aspiring ag pilots in their journey.

The goal of NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program is to strengthen the aerial application industry by helping operator members bring new pilots into the profession and help fund their training. Anyone interested in applying for the scholarship must be sponsored by an NAAA Operator member. Scholarship recipients may use the proceeds for flight training or aviation or ag-related coursework at a university, college, community college or other institution of higher learning. A stipend for a trainee in an NAAA Operator-sponsored apprentice program is also permissible.

This year, NAAA will award up to four scholarships valued at $5,000 each. This is a win-win for NAAA Operator members and individuals seeking training funds to support their pursuit of becoming a professional ag pilot.

In 2017, NAAA awarded scholarships to five young individuals who represent the future of ag aviation: Jonathan Aslesen of Buffalo, Minn. ($5,000); Cade Sallee of Fowler, Colo. ($5,000); Kyle Tate of Walsh, Colo. ($5,000); Justin Welling of Clark, S.D. ($5,000), and Colton Tidwell of Lonoke, Ark. ($2,500). NAAA will award the recipients of the 2018 “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarships in December at the Ag Aviation Expo in Reno, Nev.

How to Apply

To be considered for a 2018 scholarship, along with completing the two-part application, every applicant must submit:

  • A letter of recommendation from the NAAA Operator member sponsoring the applicant.
  • An essay of 250 words or less written by the applicant explaining why you want to pursue a career in agricultural aviation and how you would use NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship to further your education and training.
  • A one-page résumé or list of activities detailing all agricultural and aviation experiences, education and training.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 31, 2018. All applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria: need, prior experience, likelihood of retention in the aerial application industry, strength of operator’s recommendation letter, and strength of applicant’s essay.

Please review the full instructions and print the application for the NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship. If you need clarification about any of the application requirements, please contact NAAA at (202) 546-5722 or information@agaviation.org.


The NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship is funded by educational grants provided by BASF and Thrush Aircraft and administered by the National Agricultural Aviation Association.