‘Scholarships were critical to my education’

‘Scholarships were critical to my education’
How Ken Davis found and kept his footing while at CFAES ...
“The people brought me into agriculture. But the scholarships kept me there.”Ken Davis

When it comes to supporting student scholarships, “you never know who you’re going to impact.”

So says Ken Davis, an alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Davis should know. As an undergraduate in agribusiness and applied economics, he benefited from receiving seven different CFAES scholarships. They helped him complete his bachelor’s degree, which he did in 2008. 

During his time as a student at CFAES, Davis worked as a Park Hall resident advisor, studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and Uganda, and was an officer in Ohio State’s MANRRS chapter—Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences. He went on to earn a 2017 master’s degree in seed technology and business at Iowa State University. 

Today Davis is co-owner and commercial director of Grow Pro Genetics in Illinois, which breeds soft red winter wheat varieties for Midwest farmers and which he helped found. He held previous positions managing seed portfolios for Syngenta, KSW, and Monsanto. Last year he was selected to receive a CFAES Young Professional Award.

“I fell in love with agriculture because of the people, and the farmers you’re able to work with, the businesses involved,” Davis says. “It’s a very genuine, down-to-earth industry.”

Davis says CFAES scholarships were “critical to his education”—to helping him study to serve in that industry.

“The people brought me into agriculture,” he says. “But the financial aid and scholarships kept me there.”

Scholarships help students prepare for careers

Davis received the Archer Daniels Midland Company Scholarship, the Lewis R. Jones Diversity Scholarship, and the Robert R. Kinney Memorial Scholarship while at CFAES. He also earned scholarships from the Will C. Hauk Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Robert J. McCoy Leadership Endowment Fund, the Mervin G. Smith Student and Faculty Fund in International Agriculture, and the W.B. and T.T. Stout Agricultural Economics Scholarship Fund.

Consider supporting students as Davis was supported—students for whom scholarships make all the difference—by donating to the CFAES Undergraduate Scholarship Fund (#317468). 

To learn more about supporting CFAES student scholarships, please contact Emily Kruse at 614-247-7606 or kruse.192@osu.edu