Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., announced its annual scholarships for National Ag Communicators of Tomorrow (NACT) students at the Ag Media Summit (AMS) in Indianapolis last week. Three chapters including the University of Missouri, University of Florida and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, were awarded a combined $4,000 to help with travel costs associated with students attending AMS.

Yamaha also awarded a $1,500 individual scholarship to Valerie Kesterson, a student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “The Yamaha scholarships were pivotal in our chapter’s ability to attend Ag Media Summit this year,” Kesterson said.

“AMS is an important networking and professional development event, and Yamaha’s scholarship program helps more students attend each year,” said Dwayne Cartmell, Ph.D., NACT national faculty advisor. “Yamaha’s application process also provides students with an opportunity to build their portfolios while learning about industry recommendations for safe, responsible use of equipment in an ag setting.”

This year Yamaha presented custom-painted, school-themed helmets to each chapter that applied for one of the scholarships. This year’s recipients plus Texas Tech and University of Illinois, both of which are previous Yamaha scholarship recipients, received the one-of-a-kind helmets. The purpose of the helmets was to encourage ACT students to continue participating in the program and get them talking about off-road safety in a fun and positive way through a photo gallery posted on the Yamaha Outdoors Facebook page.

The scholarship program has awarded more than $25,000 in its six years in support of ACT’s mission of fostering professional development. The Ag Media Summit is one of two yearly meetings for ACT chapters and serves as students’ primary career networking event.

To give ACT members an opportunity to expand their portfolios and improve their professional development skills, applicants are asked to create communication pieces for Yamaha focused on the safe use of ATV and Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicles in an ag settling. Yamaha expects to announce its 2014 – 15 year ACT scholarship program this fall.