Agribusiness: Delta King Seed announces SoyDiesel Essay Scholarship

Delta King Seed is announcing a SoyDiesel Essay Scholarship Contest that will provide funding for higher education and promote the development and use of SoyDiesel in the United States.

A total of $12,500 will be awarded to five different high school seniors or college freshmen, with each winner receiving an individual scholarship amount of $2,500. Eligibility is open to all college-bound high school seniors from high schools (public and private) located in a Mid-South, soybean-producing county and college freshmen.

Noal Lawhon, president and owner of Delta King, says, “The 2006 SoyDiesel Essay Scholarship is a continuation of our company’s commitment to the U.S. soybean grower by promoting the use of SoyDiesel in the United States.

“Did you know that SoyDiesel is better than petroleum diesel for the environment because it is made from a renewable resource—soybeans—and reduces the sulfur emissions associated with standard petroleum diesel? Additionally, since SoyDiesel is made in the USA from a renewable resource, its use decreases our country’s dependence on foreign oil and strengthens our national economy.”

To apply for the scholarship, a candidate must submit a completed application form along with an essay no longer than 700 words printed on double-spaced typed pages on the topic, “Why America Should Encourage the Use of SoyDiesel.” Students can obtain an application form from their high school principal, or they can download a form from

Delta King initially announced that the contest was for high school seniors. But the company decided to include college freshmen to make the contest as inclusive as possible to encourage more students to discover the benefits that SoyDiesel offers versus standard petroleum diesel.

“We felt that the difference in writing and academic skills between high school seniors and first year freshmen was narrow enough to allow college freshmen to participate in the contest,” said Rick Rice, director of marketing for Delta King. “This is coming in response to a number of phone calls and emails that we received asking if college freshmen could participate. One of the creeds at Delta King is that we try to be easy to work with and, in this case, making the change to allow freshmen to submit essays just made sense, even though we do understand that they’ll have to hustle a little more in order to get their essays written before the November 30 deadline.”

Students also can access several useful biofuels resource Web sites from the Delta King Website. The completed form and essay must be submitted by Nov. 30, 2005 to: Betsy Mullins, Delta King Seed Co., 574 Greentree Cove, Ste. 101, Collierville, TN 38017.

A committee comprising four professional agricultural editors and the Delta King Seed president will determine the winners.

The judges will select one winner from each Mid-South state (Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Southeast Missouri and West Tennessee). Essays will be judged on style and content. Judges will look for writing that is persuasive, articulate and organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of SoyDiesel economic and/or environmental benefits to the country.

Scholarship recipients will be presented at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, Memphis, Tenn., March 3-4, 2006. Scholarship funds will be disbursed with proof of accepted admission as a full-time student at a university or college for the 2006 fall session.

“We’re excited about providing this unique community service program that will help finance higher education,” Lawhon says. “Students will learn that SoyDiesel’s potential represents more than just economic benefits to the country. It’s positive for the environment. “Also, by reducing our dependency on foreign energy sources, SoyDiesel contributes to our national security as well. Home grown fuel is much less subject to supply disruption by terrorism and foreign politics.”

Lawhon Farm Services’ entire fleet of delivery trucks has been burning a SoyDiesel blend for four years. Additionally, the family-owned company recently converted all of its Delta King sales fleet vehicles to diesel, and set up procedures for them to be able to buy B100 (100 percent biodiesel). An extra fuel tank will be installed on each pickup to carry B100, enabling the driver to create a blend of SoyDiesel at each fill-up in the event refueling occurs at a station that carries only standard petroleum diesel.

Delta King Seed Co. is a family-owned seed business based in McCrory, Ark. It is one of the largest privately owned soybean companies in the United States, offering Roundup Ready and conventional products in different maturity groups. For more information and performance data, go to

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