By Greg Bobinec on January 15, 2021.
As part of an ongoing effort to invest in the future of the agri-food economy of Southern Alberta, SouthGrow Regional Economic Development announced they will be awarding two $1,500 scholarships to deserving students in the region.
The scholarships are meant to support the academic advancements of promising young people who intend to use their education to participate in the regional agri-food economy.
“This is the second year that we’ve awarded these scholarships to students who want to build a career in the agri-food industry in southern Alberta,” says Jim Willett, Coutts Mayor and Chairperson of SouthGrow. “That can mean everything from taking your education back to the family farm, becoming an agronomist, using high tech at an industrial operation, or working at a processing facility making food for the world. There’s a lot of opportunity and we want to encourage our young people to consider agri-food as a career.”
The call out for applications received a large response from across the region from young students attending both the Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge.
“Both of our regional educational institutions are putting out more and more programming that get students involved in the global food market,” says Ron Lagemaat, Deputy Mayor of the Town of Coalhurst. “We’re proud of what both the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College are doing to promote careers in this industry, so we made sure that this scholarship program supports attendees at both schools.”
The two winners of this year’s competition are Ashley Owen from Warner County who is attending the University of Lethbridge to become an agronomist, and Brenden Schipper from Lethbridge County, who is studying at Lethbridge College with an interest in introducing high-tech solutions to traditional agriculture.
Owen grew up on a small farm near Wrentham and is currently pursuing Agricultural Studies at the University of Lethbridge.
Her plan is to pursue a career as an agronomist to help local producers achieve maximum yields by optimizing all aspects of production.
“I would like to thank SouthGrow Regional Initiative and the selection committee,” says Owen. “It was an honour to be selected for this scholarship which will help me to achieve my goal of becoming an agronomist in the future.”
Schipper grew up working in the Hilltop Greenhouse near Monarch and was exposed first-hand to how technology can positively impact production. He is currently enrolled in the Ag Science program at Lethbridge College and wants to land in a career where he works directly with crops every day to produce better yields and increase plant health.
“I would like to extend a healthy thanks to SouthGrow for giving me the opportunity to better pursue a career in agronomy with the financial aid of this scholarship,” says Schipper.
SouthGrow Regional Economic Development is an alliance of 28 communities in south-central Alberta that represents the interests of over 180,000 people. It is our mission to provide new opportunities and improve the quality of life for our member communities by engaging in regional economic development work.
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