(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – The Foundation for Soy Innovation continues to support the future of soybeans by selecting two students, Jeff Barizon and Avery Matthews, for the 2023 Soy Innovation Scholarship. The scholarship invests in the future of the soybean sector and empowers those working to further the industry.
“The investment in future generations of agriculturalists and innovators is critical to the future state of soy,” said Matt McCrate, chairman of the Foundation. “One of the main goals of the Foundation for Soy Innovation is to support students interested in the soybean sector to aid in enhancing the soy value chain.”
The farmers behind the Foundation for Soy Innovation envision supporting early-career faculty and students in their work across the industry through this scholarship program. Scholarship funds may be used for coursework, supplies, training, and professional conferences.
Barizon received his Bachelor of Science in agronomy and a Master of Science in plant pathology from Iowa State University. He is now a senior research specialist at the SCN Diagnostics Clinic and a first-year Ph.D. student at the Plant Sciences and Technology Division at the University of Missouri, working with plant-parasitic nematode identification and soil nematode communities.
“My goal is to help Missouri growers increase their profits by minimizing yield losses caused by plant-parasitic nematodes,” said Barizon. “I plan to do this by mapping growers’ potential nematode problems and testing soybean-resistant varieties, active ingredients, and cultural practices.”
Barizon will utilize these funds to attend the 2024 North Central APS meeting to share his research findings. The findings include in-field evaluation of soybean cultivars containing different sources of resistance to the soybean cyst nematode and the most recent tools to control plant-parasitic nematodes affecting soybeans and other crops.
Matthews is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in agronomy, focusing on crop production at Northwest Missouri State University. Through her program, her goal is to find a way to leverage her educational and hands-on experiences to contribute to the development of sustainable farming techniques, increasing soybean yields and profitability for farmers.
“I am humbled to be chosen as a recipient of this scholarship and will use this opportunity to the fullest,” said Matthews. “The Foundation’s investment in my education gives me the confidence and resources to pursue my career aspirations in agronomy.”
This investment in Matthews’ academic coursework assists in funding field studies and lab work to apply items learned directly to agricultural scenarios. In her agronomy program, Matthews combines theoretical knowledge with practical applications relevant to the challenges of modern agriculture.