Ag students and sponsors come together at AWC!

Two things make the AWC Student program successful:

  1. Students who are excited about starting their career path with a blast of inspiration, some great direction, and a network of leaders at their fingertips.
  2. Industry leaders who will join us in sponsoring and supporting these students and future leaders, giving them the opportunity to attend AWC and reap the benefits.

AWC matches students from agricultural degree programs across Canada with companies looking to invest in future leaders!

Apply for Sponsorship

Students, as you prepare to cross the threshold into the working world, join us and get a head start in honing your leadership skills and building your network! The Application Deadline for AWC WEST 2019 is January 25th, 2019.

Download Tap-And-Fill Application Form Here!

Applicants + Sponsors

Clara Baer:

“I knew from a young age that I loved agriculture. It is my passion. I worked as a farm hand on a 20,000 acre cash crop farm and have worked as a summer research technician for agricultural research. I would love to attend this conference because meeting and hearing from women who share the same passion and have been in the industry longer than me would be something I would definitely benefit from. I think it would also be good to broaden my horizon on agriculture and see more of what is out there. Attending this conference would give me the push start I need to become an educated woman in the industry.” – Clara Baer, Agribusiness Diploma, Assiniboine Community College, Portage La Prairie, MB

Jo Ann Chew:

“I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health in 2018. Currently, I am a Masters Student at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner. My project focuses on the effects of varying light intensity during pullet rearing on bird’s use of space, behaviour, and health. My previous work experience in the agriculture industry involves volunteering and interning at various farms, especially poultry farms, and working as a summer student during my undergraduate degree. Now that this conference is here, especially in the west where I plan my future career to be, I knew I had to apply. This conference will provide a great platform for me to network with other students, producers, and industry representatives, not to mention continue to build on the skills that I had previously learned.” - Jo Ann Chew, MSc Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Carley Frerichs:

“In my master’s program I have currently completed a course in Welfare of Domestic Livestock and Statistics for Animal Experimentation. This term I will be completing my final course of study, Advanced Animal Ethology. Along with my own studies I have been a teaching assistant for the following courses: Equine Science, Poultry Production and Aquaculture, and an Introductory class to Agriculture. My work experience pertaining to agriculture includes working at a petstore as an animal care associate, a vet clinic as a receptionist and tech assistant, and as an animal technician at our poultry facility on campus. Volunteer experience includes vet clinics and work at the Prairie Swine Centre research facility. I’m eager to partake in such a great initiative this year in hopes that I can further foster the connections I have made and continue to connect with established and emerging women in agriculture. As I near the end of my academic program I’m eagerly seeking potential employment opportunities.” -Carley Frerichs, Masters in Animal Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Melanie Heupel:

“I am from a grain farm, and have worked on the farm since I can remember. Last year I began working full time during my break between semesters. In 2017 I worked for Cargill as an agronomy scout. I have also been an assistant volleyball coach in my local community. I have graduated both from an English high school and received a DSD 11 certificate from my German school. After graduating German school, I have been teaching as a substitute for levels from pre-kindergarten up to grade 10. I am currently in my 3rd year at the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Science with a focus in Crop Science. My first  year of university was spent at Augustana in Camrose where I played for the university volleyball team as well as the local club team. After completing my degree, I hope to continue the profession of my father and grandfather, becoming our third generation farmer in Canada. I hope to connect with women like me, how are passionate in the ag field and will help motivate me to become what I have always wanted to be. As such, this conference will greatly benefit me in my future career of becoming a farmer.” -Melanie Heupel, 3rd year, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Crop Science Major, University of Alberta, Stony Plain, AB.

Leila Kamino:

“I am a Ph.D. student in my fifth year at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Rob Gulden. I graduated with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Egerton University, Kenya in 2008. Following graduation, I worked as a research support for the cereal breeding and chemistry departments at the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization, Njoro. I then completed a master’s degree in Agricultural and environmental technologies at The University of Sydney, Australia with my research topic focusing on Genetics of resistance to stripe rust in barley. Having an open mind to learn, I enrolled into a Ph.D. program in plant science and my current research is geared towards understanding the dynamics of extracellular DNA (eDNA) in the environment and the influence of agronomic practices to soil microbes.  The conference provides an excellent Networking opportunity to establish new professional connections with other great women in the agriculture industry. This conference presents a great platform to get acquainted and connected with potential mentors with similar passions who can provide me with opportunities and necessary life skills for my career growth. I am convinced this conference will fan my passion for agriculture and motivate me to continue in pursuit of a career within the industry and more specifically the use of biotechnology and new technologies to increasing food security. My desire is to see more women pursue careers in Science and agriculture and especially in Sub – Saharan Africa where they are limited by little access to benefits of research and innovation.” -Leila Kamino, Plant Science, 5th year PhD program, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Zhuoya Liu:

“I am a second-year master student in University of Guelph. I was born and raised in China and came to Canada in 2013 for studying agriculture. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Honours Agriculture at University of Guelph in 2017. Shortly after graduation, I joined The Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation to continue pursue my master’s degree in University of Guelph. My master project is focus on micropropagation of American chestnut, which is an endangered species limited to eastern north American. My study aims to find an optimized protocol for micropropagating American chestnut to support long-term conservation and reintroduce American chestnut in its habitat. I had volunteered as a summer student assistant in Bovey greenhouse on campus and Guelph Turfgrass Institute throughout the growing season in 2016. I have watched several videos about AWC and I think it is a great opportunity to learn and improve myself. More importantly, I hope this conference could help me with my career plans. I am going to graduate in 2019, but I am still in a period of confusion for my career path. I have many questions regarding to what kind of job I can apply for, which area should I focus on etc.. Therefore, I hope this conference can inspire me and give me some directions to my future career planning.” -Zhuoya Liu, Master Degree in Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph ON

Jessie Lungal:

“I grew up on a farm just outside of Russell Manitoba. We raise Speckle Prak cattle and have some grain. Last summer I previously work at Mosaic mine in Esterhazy SK. While I was working there, I was working In the lab to test potash for multiple elements. I am hoping to return to Mosaic in the summer! I feel attending AWC is a great opportunity to meet new people that have the same interest as me and extend my knowledge of agriculture.” -Jessie Lungal, 2nd Year, Diploma in Agribusiness, Assiniboine Community College, Brandon, MB

Tracy Niggli:

“I’m from southern Alberta, southeast of Lethbridge. I grew up on a small, dryland grain farm where we farm 2200 acres durum, peas, and mustard. My major is agronomy and my minor is agribusiness.  It is my second year on university Rangeland Team. We learn about different range regions, rangeland management, and ecology. Each year we compete in the Society for Range Management’s annual conference against other universities from across North America. After high school, I did a six-month agricultural exchange to Australia, where I worked on a cropping and sheep farm. This was an amazing opportunity to learn about a different aspect of agriculture, since I’ve never really been around livestock. I came back and started university, and now for the last 2 summers I’ve worked for an independent agronomist from Foremost for her consulting business. This past August I also worked for her husband’s harvest crew driving combine. I also drove truck as well because I have my Class 1 license. For the upcoming summer, I’ll be staying in Saskatoon working for FMC in a summer sales position.   I am hoping to develop my leadership skills, and work on learning how to have open clear conversations with consumers. As someone who’s going to be working in the ag industry in the future, this is a very important skill to have. My career objectives are to work in the industry after university and obtain my P.Ag designation. I plan to continue doing agronomy work, and help farmers produce their crops as sustainably and economically as possible. Perhaps someday I’ll start my own ag consulting company. However, my major long-term career goal is to take over the family farm. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember, and it is very important to me that it stays in the family.” -Tracy Niggli, 3rd year, BSc in Agricutlure – Major in Agronomy, Univesity of Sasktachewan, SK

Sara Shaw:

“I grew up on a farm just outside Alexander, MB and went to school in a small farming community of Souris, MB.  I have worked as a farrowing technician in a local farrowing barn. After my first year at Assiniboine Community College I got a job at Ag-Quest working as a research technician. As my final year is coming to an end I am continuously looking for a full time job. I am not your typical farm girl. I did not grow up on a cattle operation, mixed farm or a grain farm. Our family farm was a hobby farm, but from living in a farming community and helping out with my relatives cattle operation I fell in love with Agriculture. After having kids early in life and going back to school in my 30s I have been told I am an inspiration to others. I want to take that inspiration I have and keep improving it. If I can inspire others by going back to school and raising three kids I want to be a voice for agriculture. By going to this conference I would love to learn how other women take that inspiration and be confident in what they say or do. Seeing other women speak about agriculture would give me the confidence to do it too. This inspiration and confidence would be so beneficial to my future career. I am an intelligent woman but without that confidence I may come off to employers as shy and unsure. I want to inspire myself to inspire others and to take my knowledge to feel confident in everything I do especially in my career in agriculture.” -Sara Shaw, 2nd Year, Agribusiness, Assiniboine Community College, Brandon, MB

Nicole Wensman:

“I grew up on a family grain farm in Southern Alberta , spent 11 years in 4-H, and was a very active member of our small rural community throughout high school. I am on the University’s Range team where we attend the annual Society for Range Management conference and compete in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam. I have worked at the Lethbridge Research Station in a Ruminant Nutrition laboratory which was a great learning experience. Last year, I worked at Western Beef Development Center (soon to be LFCE) doing more of the hands-on data collection side of beef cattle research.  I think AWC will be a great opportunity to network with other women in the industry and learn about how they have created opportunities for themselves. I think the program will benefit my career objective by introducing me to new ideas and helping to open up new opportunities in places I wouldn’t have thought to look before. I believe that attending this conference would be a great experience to meet new people, make new connections, and develop my skills for future employment.” -Nicole Wensman, BSC Agriculture Animal Science, 3rd year, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Esmee van der Woude:

“I am a Dutch International Food Business student. This year I am studying in Canada to broaden my perspective and further develop my academic skills. Before I started this bachelor program I followed pre-university education focused on economics and society. I knew I wanted to study business and preferably logistics, but I was also concerned about the developing danger of food shortage, this led me to the study of International Food Business. Although I do not come from an agricultural background, I have been studying at an agricultural university for the past three years. In these three years I have learned to appreciate the agriculture for more than just the food that lands on my plate, I have been blown away by the passion of the people of this sector. I come from a hard working family, who have also taught me the power of networking. Using my networking skills I have managed to gain international work experience; last year I have done a double internship in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Having a chance to meet women who advanced in a man’s world, and learn from them will give me confidence for my own future and further build my network of strong women through attending AWC.” -Esmee van der Woude, 3rd year, International Food Business, Dalhousie University, Truro, Nova Scotia

Kaiqi Zhang:

“I have got my Bachelor degree in Science of Agriculture major organic agriculture at University of Guelph. During the bachelor study time, I used to work at local organic vegetable farm and the University urban organic farm. I also did the summer jobs like university research assistant, the open house assistant of Landscape Ontario. I just graduated from my Master study on September of 2018. My master project was about nematode control in dry bean production. During my graduate study, I was involved in a rice project between University of Guelph and Chinese local government as a liaison and translator. Agriculture is one of the most important industries that people can not ignore. It is excited to know that more and more females involve in this. I believe it is important to hear what other female aggies think about this industry and their experiences and stories will be so helpful for young people like me to clarify our future expectation.” -Kaiqi Zhang, masters of Science in Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Chatham, ON

Hear what some of our past attending AWC students told us:

“Thank you for organizing such a fantastic conference! I am so happy that I was able to attend, it truly was inspiring and I have a whole notebook full of highlights to share with my peers! I’ve been encouraging all my girlfriends to mark AWC on their calendars!”
~Fiona J., St-Francois Xavier, MB

“Very interesting, uplifting and motivating conference that is amazing for young women who often question their decision to enter this industry. This conference smashed all doubts.”
~Melissa D., Olds, AB

“The greatest benefit of the conference? To be inspired – and I am fully! So many areas of agriculture to become involved in.”
~Brianna C., Dapp, AB

“This is a great conference, but the sponsorship for students was what allowed me to attend. Amazing! Good stories and speakers. I feel inspired to be a part of this industry.”
~Briane C., Garafraxa, ON

If you have any questions call 403-686-8407 or email