UC Davis Student Receives Monsanto Scholarship

Amanjot Kaur

Amanjot Kaur '16 is one of 10 students nationwide to receive a $25,000 Monsanto Graduate Student Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded to high-achieving minority students pursuing a graduate degree in STEM or other agricultural-related fields and are part of Monsanto’s broader focus on innovation and investment in agriculture.

Through its programs and partnerships, Monsanto collaborates with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to develop efficient, sustainable solutions for improving harvests and nourishing the world's increasing population.

“Many graduate and undergraduate students, especially high achievers from underrepresented communities, are unaware that their career paths could include jobs in agriculture or related industries,” said Steve Mizell, executive vice president of human resources for Monsanto. “These scholarships reinforce Monsanto’s commitment to building an innovative workforce that is able to meet the demands of feeding a growing global population of nine billion people by 2050.”

Kaur begins her graduate studies at UC Davis this fall with Professor Dina St. Clair in the Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group and plans to focus on plant breeding and genetics for crop improvement.

As an undergraduate, Kaur was a UC Davis Central Valley Scholar, and she graduated with a degree in biotechnology.

Born and raised in India, Kaur moved with her family to Livingston, California, when she was in the eighth grade. As the only Indian student at her school, she found the transition jarring and struggled to learn English. 

By joining the Future Farmers of America in high school, Kaur achieved fluency in English and overcame her isolation. After competing at the UC Davis Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day, she saw a future for herself in agriculture, and UC Davis became her dream school.

“I want to serve as a liaison between farmers and government so I can ensure that decisions and policies are made that benefit agriculture,” she said.