NC State Announces New Full-Ride Scholarship in Agronomy

graduate red mortarboard hats

NC State’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences is thrilled to announce the creation of a new full-ride undergraduate scholarship in agronomy. The scholarship endowment was created by Connie and Durwood Laughinghouse to celebrate the future of North Carolina farming. 

Scholarship Favors Farming Background

The new Laughinghouse Scholarship will be available to an undergraduate sophomore specializing in agronomy. Funds will cover full tuition and attendance expenses as well as experiential learning potentially from study abroad, internships, research, and/or work-study programs. The scholarship will be available to current NC State students and those transferring from another college or university. Preference will be given to students who are NC residents who have a demonstrated farming background. It is the first full-ride scholarship in the department. 

“We are immensely grateful for this vital gift from Connie and Durwood Laughinghouse. Their generous support of our academic programs brings renewed energy to our department and to the study of agronomy. The students who benefit from this scholarship will profoundly influence the future of NC’s agricultural science,” said Jeff Mullahey, head of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

The Laughinghouse Scholarship will fund agronomy students who are interested in precision agriculture, spatial agronomy, and/or crop improvement such as higher yields, new plant varieties, and soil microbiome, all of which are elements of the NC Plant Sciences Initiative. The scholarship is expected to be awarded for the first time in 2022. The application window for the scholarship will open in the fall of 2021 and will be announced publicly on department news and social media. High school seniors graduating in 2021 (fall 2021 college freshmen) will be the first class eligible for the scholarship as they rise or transfer into NC State with sophomore status.

aerial view of tractor on a farm

Improving University Access

They want to be a part of the success of every farmer and create a legacy benefiting NC agriculture.

“Many of our undergraduate students, especially from rural counties, depend on the availability of financial assistance to attend NC State. The Laughinghouse Scholarship will ensure access opportunity to any student with a heart for agriculture. We are excited to see its impact on our students’ futures,” said David Crouse, director of undergraduate programs for the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

“This is a very rare gift,” De Teague executive director of NC State Advancement said. “This family is honoring their background on the farm. They want to be a part of the success of every farmer and create a legacy benefiting NC agriculture. Their gift will do that for generations.”

The new Laughinghouse Scholarship builds on the desire to improve university access to students from rural areas. In 2014 the Gordon Family Farm to Philanthropy Program established alternative pathways into the university (including Nominate a Student for CALS, STEAM spring admissions, and ASPIRE test prep). These programs recognize the importance of equal access and improve the regional diversity of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ students. 

Think Agronomy Might Be Right for You?

NC State students learn to challenge the frontiers of agriculture.  If you are a student who is interested in agricultural or environmental sciences, read about our degree pathways. You can also sign up for a guided email tour of our department, including scholarship opportunities. 

Ready to plan your path at NC State? Set a no-pressure time to talk with David Crouse in our Undergraduate Programs Office. Access and opportunity in the science of agriculture is how we are growing the future.