The UTIA Farm Credit Scholars Program was established in 2012 by Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) through the Herbert College of Agriculture with the goal of enhancing the learning experience of students and preparing them for careers as leaders in agriculture.

FCMA is a $23.6 billion financial services cooperative serving more than 90,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. FCMA provides loans for farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating equipment and housing and related services such as crop insurance and vehicle, equipment and building leases. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, FCMA employs more than 1,100 employees and provides exciting career opportunities for college graduates.

Benefits to Scholars

  • SCHOLARSHIP AWARD - Scholars receive a $3,000 annual award for up to three years, contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA and continued commitment to the principles of the program.

  • ACADEMIC PROGRAM - Scholars can pursue any major in the Herbert College of Agriculture, but are expected to complete courses in accounting, farm and agribusiness management, agricultural finance, agricultural law, sales, and leadership. (See specific courses on next page, which closely align with the requirements for a minor in Food and Agricultural Business). They also are expected to enroll in a one-credit hour Farm Credit Scholars Seminar each spring semester.

  • INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY - Scholars have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship upon completion of their sophomore or junior year. The paid internship will normally be in one of FCMA's Tennessee retail offices, though opportunities also exist in their corporate office in Louisville, Kentucky. Scholars will complete a research project and provide written and oral presentations to FCMA leaders as well as university students and faculty. Three hours of academic credit may be earned upon successful completion of the internship.

  • ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES - Scholars are expected to participate in a variety of activities designed to enhance their understanding of agriculture and agricultural finance, and to develop their leadership skills. These activities will include external learning experiences, visits to local farms and agribusinesses, leadership conferences, and guest speakers on campus.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Freshman or sophomore majoring in the Herbert College of Agriculture.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • Commitment to a career in the field of agriculture.

  • Willingness to meet program requirements and expectations regarding participation in core program activities.

  • Willingness to complete the following courses or substitutions approved by the Program Director:
    • AREC 212: Introduction to Agribusiness Management
    • AREC 342: Farm Business Management
    • AREC 395: Executive Seminar Series
    • AREC 352: Futures and Options Markets OR
    • AREC 412: Agricultural Finance and Risk Management
    • ALEC 102: Interpersonal Leadership Development OR
    • ALEC 202: Leadership and Diversity in Organizations and Communities
    • ALEC 240: Presentation and Sales Strategies for Agricultural Audiences
    • ACCT 200: Foundations of Accounting

Application and Selection Process

  • Students complete an on-line application form that includes a personal statement, upload a resume, and arrange for two to three letters of reference to be submitted.

  • Applicants are evaluated based on their academic record, participation in extracurricular activities, demonstrated leadership, commitment to a career in the field of agriculture, and specific interest in the agricultural lending and financial services sector.

  • Finalists participate in a personal interview with the Scholars Program Coordinating Committee.

Timetable for Selection of 2020 Class

  • On-line application system is open from February 3-28, 2020.

  • An information session on the Scholars Program will be held on February 20th from 4:00 to 4:45 PM in Morgan Hall 212B. Pizza will be served.

  • Finalist interviews on April 6-7, 2020.

  • Selection of new Scholars announced by April 15, 2020.

  • Reception to honor new Scholars on April 27, 2020.

Program Flyer in PDF

Apply for the 2020 Farm Credit Scholars

For more information about the program, contact:

Dr. Chris Boyer and Dr. Karen DeLong
Co-Directors of the Farm Credit Scholars Program
2621 Morgan Circle, Rm. 302
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-4518