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Cassidy WardAgriBank and Agriculture Future of America (AFA) have selected Cassidy Ward of Marthasville, Missouri, for a unique scholarship program.

AgriBank’s William J. Collins scholarship is part of the AFA Leader and Academic Scholarship program. This scholarship was established to honor Mr. Collins upon his retirement from AgriBank, recognizing his many years of service. It is awarded to graduating high school seniors who are children of AgriBank District employees. Scholarship applicants must be planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in an agriculture-related, four-year degree program.

Cassidy plans to study plant science and communications at Oklahoma State University this fall. Following graduation, she says she hopes to use her plant biotechnology skills as a plant breeder at a large seed company. She also hopes to use her communication skills to help tell agriculture’s story. Cassidy is the daughter of Stacy & Mindy Ward. Stacy is a loan officer in the FCS Financial O'Fallon office.

AFA and AgriBank are committed to investing in their scholars’ development as a leader. The scholarship program includes sponsorship to AFA’s Leaders Conference as well as the traditional academic scholarship. The Conference is AFA’s key leader development event, providing soft skill training and connecting students with their peers and industry professionals.

AFA is looking forward to welcoming almost 600 other students from across the nation to Kansas City, Missouri, Nov. 6-9 for the 2014 AFA Leaders Conference. For more information about the conference, visit

About AgriBank
AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with more than $85 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System’s cooperative structure, AgriBank is owned by 17 affiliated Farm Credit Associations. The AgriBank District covers America’s Midwest, a 15-state area from Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Arkansas. More than half of the nation’s cropland is located within the AgriBank District, providing the Bank and its Association owners with exceptional expertise in production agriculture. For more information visit

About AFA
AFA creates partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding collegiate and young professional men and women who are pursuing careers in the agriculture and food industry. With program participation increasing 122 percent in the last five years, AFA leader development programs have impacted 10,000 college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 42 states since its inception in 1996. AFA has awarded more than $8 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit

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