Earlier this month, BASF and the National Agricultural Aviation Association congratulated two scholarship winners during the 45th Annual NAAA Convention and Exposition kickoff breakfast in Las Vegas. The scholarship program is helping to build the future of agricultural aviation, and is an integral part of the BASF partnership with NAAA.
“BASF supports sustaining and growing the aerial application industry,” said Gary Fellows, Ph.D., BASF Plant Health Technical Services Manager and member of the NAAREF (National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation) PAASS (Professional Aerial Applicators’ Support System) Program Development Committee. “The industry is always in need of a steady supply of qualified applicators. This scholarship not only helps NAAA operators get new pilots into the field, but it helps those pilots get the education they need to become successful aerial applicators.”
The two 2011 Agricultural Aviation Scholarship winners are seeking careers in agricultural aviation. This year’s winners are Jordan Loewen of Park River, North Dakota, and Brad Taylor of Walnut, Mississippi. Loewen has been involved in aviation since he was a junior in high school, while Taylor is pursuing agricultural aviation after working in his family’s heating and air conditioning business.
To be eligible for the scholarship, each applicant had to be sponsored by an NAAA member operator. Glen Wharam, of Park River, North Dakota-based Valley Sprayers Inc., sponsored Loewen. Taylor was sponsored by Dennie Stokes of Stokes Flying Service, which is based in Parkin, Arkansas.
BASF continued its tradition as a platinum-level supporter of the NAAA Annual Convention and Exposition, which included sponsorship of the kickoff breakfast. In addition to NAAA convention sponsorships, BASF works with NAAA and NAAREF to keep safety and efficiency top-of-mind for pilots. BASF sponsors a number of NAAREF’s Operation S.A.F.E. (Self-Regulating Application and Flight Efficiency) fly-in workshops, a program that helps pilots make safe and accurate applications.
“Like the scholarship program, Operation S.A.F.E. helps provide aviators the education they need to be safe and accurate in their work,” Fellows said. “A big factor behind these efforts is ensuring stewardship of the land, a value on which BASF places a high priority.”
In the past three years, more than 1,250 aircraft have been inspected at nearly 150 Operation S.A.F.E. fly-ins. BASF hopes this number will continue to increase as clinics are held at more locations throughout the country.
In 2012, BASF will also continue as the exclusive AgSync marketing partner. Through this partnership, AgSync provides a complete aerial work order management system designed to help applicators with planning and transparency.