MANHATTAN, Kan. (March 17, 2015) – It’s not very often that you can cut down on your paperwork and, in turn, help fund scholarships for college students.  But that’s exactly what Kansas Wheat Alliance associates did recently.

As older wheat varieties, such as Jagger, have become less popular, many Certified seed producers have dropped them in favor of newer, better varieties, such as 1863 and KanMark.  KWA provided an incentive to seed producers for terminating their licenses to produce older varieties.

The incentive was in the form of a $25 donation toward their choice of one of four scholarship programs, or the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation.  The result was $5,000 donated to these programs, and associates spending a little less time completing annual reports.

“It was a win-win,” said Daryl Strouts, KWA CEO/President.  “When farmers purchase Certified seed of a K-State variety, there’s a small royalty that is collected. A high percentage of this royalty gets returned to K-State to fund future wheat variety development.  Now, when old varieties are dropped in favor of new, improved varieties, a little bit of money gets donated to scholarships.”

The scholarship options included Kansas Crop Improvement Association Scholarship, Kansas Seed Industry Association Award, Lowell A. Burchett Memorial Scholarship and Herb Clutter Memorial Scholarship.  The Clutter Memorial Scholarship is open to all Kansas high school seniors pursuing agriculture-related degrees at any Kansas institution, while the others target students in K-State’s Department of Agronomy.

The KWCRF also received some funding from this effort.  The Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation was established in 2011 as the official research fundraising organization for the Kansas Wheat Commission. Gifts made to the Research Foundation are used solely for the purpose of funding wheat research.

The $5,000 donation was divided among the five recipients in the following way:

  • $2,300 to the Kansas Crop Improvement Association Scholarship, KSU Department of Agronomy
  • $800 to the Kansas Seed Industry Association Award, KSU Department of Agronomy
  • $750 to the Lowell A. Burchett Memorial Scholarship, KSU Department of Agronomy
  • $500 to the Herb Clutter Memorial Scholarship, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers
  • $650 to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation

The Kansas Wheat Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 2007 with the goal of maximizing value for wheat farmers from new wheat varieties developed by Kansas State University and other wheat-breeding programs. The Kansas Wheat Alliance delivers modern genetic technology that is not otherwise showing up in wheat varieties, a real economic benefit to the wheat producers and end-users of the crop.