SAVANNAH, GA, December 4, 2017 – Aerial applicators play a major role in helping farmers manage pest issues in their fields across the United States. To support the future of ag aerial application and help build a pipeline of talented ag aviators, BASF’s Crop Protection division and the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) awarded a $5,000 scholarship to Jonathan Aslesen of Buffalo, Minnesota, and a $2,500 scholarship to Colton Tidwell of Lonoke, Arkansas.
Aslesen is currently a junior at North Dakota State University studying agronomy through the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources. He has earned his private pilot, instrument, commercial and multi-engine ratings and is training to become a certified flight instructor. Upon graduation, Aslesen hopes to make his dream of becoming an ag pilot a reality.
Tidwell completed his first semester at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he majors in biology with a minor in agriculture. He aspires to join his siblings as a third-generation aerial applicator at Tidwell Flying Service, which was founded in 1965 by his grandfather.
“The pilots supported by these scholarships help growers achieve cleaner fields and higher yields,” said John Sabatka, Strategic Account Manager at BASF. “Working with NAAA, we also ensure the next generation of aerial applicators receive the proper training and education to be confident and safe on the job.”
For the past 51 years, NAAA has supported small businesses and pilots that use aircraft to aid farmers by providing networking, educational, government relations, public relations, recruiting and informational services. NAAA works with its partner organization, the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation (NAAREF), to provide research and educational programs focused on enhancing the efficacy, security and safety of aerial application.
“We’re very proud of our longstanding partnership with BASF,” said Andrew Moore, Executive Director at, NAAA. “This mutual commitment to agricultural aviation and stewardship has enabled NAAA to award $61,000 in scholarship funds to 17 aviators through our ‘Ag Wings of Tomorrow’ scholarship program.”
In addition to supporting students with an interest in ag aerial application, BASF, NAAA and NAAREF have also partnered to build awareness of pilot safety and application best practices. For nearly 10 years, the three organizations have supported Operation S.A.F.E. (Self-regulating Application and Flight Efficiency) Professional Application Analysis Clinic. The program encourages aerial applicators from around the country to participate in additional training through fly-in clinics. This year, approximately 350 aircraft across more than 20 states participated.
The 2017 NAAA Ag Aviation Expo is December 4-7 in Savannah, Georgia. BASF will be at booth numbers 423 and 522 throughout the trade show.
For more information about BASF Crop Protection products, visit agproducts.basf.us. For more information about NAAA, visit www.AgAviation.org.
About BASF’s Crop Protection division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. BASF’s Crop Protection division works with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others to help make this possible. With their cooperation, BASF is able to sustain an active R&D pipeline, an innovative portfolio of products and services, and teams of experts in the lab and in the field to support customers in making their businesses succeed. In 2016, BASF’s Crop Protection division generated sales of €5.6 billion. For more information, please visit us at www.agriculture.basf.com or on any of our social media channels.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $16.2 billion in 2016. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.
The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), founded in 1966, represents approximately 1,800 members in 46 states. NAAA supports the interests of small business owners and pilots licensed as professional commercial aerial applicators who use aircraft to enhance food, fiber and biofuel production, protect forestry and control health-threatening pests.
NAAA provides networking, educational, government relations, public relations, recruiting and informational services to its members and the aerial application industry as a whole.
NAAA works with its partner organization, the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation (NAAREF), to provide research and educational programs focused on enhancing the efficacy, security and safety of aerial application.
Additionally, NAAA performs public outreach on the industry's behalf, communicating the importance of aerial application to agriculture, forestry and the public welfare to the public.