The Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute, a collaborative program of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America matches undergraduates with scientist-mentors during the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meetings. The program encourages talented students to enter the agronomy, crop, soil, or environemental sciences, cultivate networks, and develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession.

Selecting Scholars

Undergraduate scholars have been selected based on their academic achievements and interests. The program provides financial support for travel, lodging, registration, and other costs related to attending the Annual Meetings. Student scholars are introduced to their mentor at the beginning of the Annual Meetings and also acknowledged at the various Awards Programs.


Scholar Program

Students from all over the U.S. and the world will be selected. Beginning each year at the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meetings, student scholars will:

  • Participate in the Golden Opportunity Scholar Symposium
  • Engage in one-on-one activities with mentors
  • Listen to presentations from high-profile scientists
  • Gain exposure to many disciplines in agronomy, crops, soils, and environmental sciences
  • Attend undergraduate student programs
  • Be Recognized during the Awards Programs
  • Participate in year-round mentoring


Volunteer Mentors

ASA, CSSA, and SSSA members are encouraged to volunteer as a mentor to help invest in the future of the sciences. Scholars benefit from the mentors' expertise and experiences and mentors benefit by knowing they are supporting the future of the profession. As part of the program, mentors should be attending the Annual Meetings to meet and mentor their scholar.

Interested in volunteering as a mentor for the Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute?
Seeking Mentors.

Contact Rachel Leege,, 608-268-4949

Supporting the Program

The Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute was developed by CSSA as part of its 50th anniversary in 2005 and is now a collaborative program of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, supported by the Golden Opportunity Fund through the Agronomic Science Foundation. View Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute Committee Members: Coordinating Committee, Scholar Selection, and Mentor Activities

Interested in supporting the Golden Opportunity Fund?
Donate online or mail a check payable to ASF to 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711-5801, with "Golden Opportunity Fund" on the memo line. Or contact Wes Meixelsperger,, 608-268-4958.