Two budding pilots are a step closer to soaring over the fields of America thanks to a pair of scholarships from BASF and the National Agricultural Aviation Association .
Justin Mook of Wiggins, Colorado, and Kippy Foltyn of Lansford, North Dakota, were awarded NAAA/BASF Agricultural Aviation Scholarships of $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, and honored during the 46th Annual NAAA Convention and Exposition kickoff breakfast today in Savannah, Georgia.
The scholarships are the product of a partnership between BASF and NAAA, a partnership that aims to build the future of aerial application.
"America needs more qualified aerial applicators," said Gary Fellows, Ph.D., BASF Plant Health Technical Services Manager and member of the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation (NAAREF) Professional Aerial Applicators' Support System, (PAASS) Program Development Committee. "With these scholarships, we're able to provide people like Justin and Kippy with the opportunity to receive the education they need to enter the field."
Mook is currently enrolled in Enrich's Helicopters Flight School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he is pursuing his commercial pilot's license. He already has his private license and hopes to begin his agricultural pilot training after completing his current program this winter.
Foltyn attended Ag Flight Pilot Training LLC in Bainbridge, Georgia, and plans to continue his education later this year with plans to become an aerial applicator.
"BASF has been a major supporter of NAAA over the years, and we appreciate their continued generosity," NAAA Executive Director Andrew Moore said. "The grant that allowed us to establish the Agricultural Aviation Scholarship has helped ensure that the pipeline remains well stocked with competent and capable professional ag pilots."