Ag students and sponsors come together at AWC!
Two things make the AWC Student program successful:
- 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.
- 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 programs across Canada with companies looking to invest in future leaders!
Applicants + Sponsors
“I had BSc in Agricultural Economics and a six months exprience in animal husbandry, crop production and farm management (October 2013 – March 2014). During this period, my responsibilities also included identification and collection of grass for briquette production. In addition, I had industrial working experiences with the Arix Group, and NIPS, K. K. Company, both in Fukuoka, Japan, in the packaging and processing of agricultural and food products between 2014 and 2016. I’m currently a first year student, study Agriculture Management (Production major) at Olds College, Olds Alberta (Sep.2019 -June 2021). I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference to develop in my future career in becoming a successful farmer as a woman.”
-Abimbola Alade, Diploma in Agriculture Management/Production, Olds College
“I have worked for the County of Stettler for 4 years on their Agricultural Service Board, this is what truly began my passion for agriculture. I have owned horses since the age of 4, but I did not grow up on a farm. My family moved to an acreage outside of Stettler when I was 14, its this acreage that I plan on adding onto to create my goat farm. Currently I am taking the Agriculture Management Diploma at Olds College, majoring in production. After I am done college, I plan on returning to the County of Stettler as an Agricultural Fieldman and start building my goat farm.
As a woman entering the agriculture world that has not grown up on the farm, learning from influential people in the industry is invaluable to me, all the knowledge and experiences I can have during my time in school will make my time here all the more worth it. My goal after graduating is to build my own goat meat operation. There are many speakers and presenters that will help me plan the financial, infrastructure, and management aspects of my business, as well as inspire me and offer motivation.”
-Ania Bohn, 2nd Year, Production Major, Olds College
“I grew up in Solsgirth, Manitoba where I was raised on an a mixed family farm of 400 purebred simmental cows calving through winter and planting 6,500 acres of crops in the summer. I enjoy working with cattle and am now in my second year at Olds College to learn more that I could integrate into my family operation. I’ve worked on my farm my entire life and plan on continuing doing my part to help feed the world.
My entire life I’ve been surrounded by men when involved in agriculture and I have had to work extra hard to do what I love that has predominantly been a mans industry. I would be extremely grateful to have the opportunity to hear and learn from female role models in agriculture and here what adversity they have faced and overcome to get where they are. I’d like to learn about animal parturition, animal handling, range and forage management, antimicrobial resistence, better cattle handling systems, and the divide between urban and rural cultures. Really anything that I could apply to being a successful farmer in the future.”
-Rayna Bonchuk, 2nd Year, Ag Management, Olds College
“I am a first yeast student at the University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Arts in Agricultural Studies with a focus in Agricultural Business. Through my involvement in programs like 4-H and Green Certificate, I am passionate about the ag industry and have decided to pursue a career in agriculture. I hope to become a first generation rancher. I am interested in attending AWC to network with professionals within the industry and hear about the many influential roles that women play with agriculture. In the past I have made several great connections through similar conferences and events and value the relationships that I have built. I would expect to benefit from these connections as they will be valuable in my future career as well as finding internships throughout my education.”
-Sarah Braul, University of Lethbridge
“I am a third year Law and Society student at the University of Calgary, which is a Bachelor of Arts degree program. I have lived on an acreage my entire life and been surrounded by the industry of agriculture with thanks to my dad, who’s agri-business career has influenced my interest into the industry. I am a fifth genereation Canadian farmer who intends to keep ties to the industry. I have worked at multiple agriculture businesses for summer jobs such as Nutrien, and a small farming supply store in Manitoba (where I grew up) called Horizon. I hope to be accepted into Law School in the coming years, as my career goals are to work as a lawyer for an agriculture company.
I believe attending the advancing women in agriculture conference will allow me to network with other women in agriculture and expand my knowledge about the industry. Being able to network could potentially lead to summer jobs or internships, which in turn would help me to further my career. I also feel that this conference is a great to learn more about agriculture in general, allowing me to remain connected to my overall career path goals.”
-Sarah Brewin, 3rd Year, Bachelor of Arts – Law and Society, University of Calgary
My early years alternated between the rural foothills of the Himalayas where my mom ran a charity and the rolling escarpment of our small farm in Ontario. While my parents had jobs as teachers in town we all had jobs after school on the family farm, where we raised chickens, horses, bunnies and a small garden. Moving between Canada and other countries such as India and Vietnam exposed me to the variety of ways in which people’s lives depended on the land. From a young age I remember being amazed by the communities of women we lived with, who despite stereotyping, prejudice, hardship and fear, fought every day to put food on their families’ tables, often growing it themselves. I became passionate about our human connection to the environment and in my own effort to make a difference and smash gender barriers continued to push my own limits. From starting two environmental clubs that tackled issues such as food waste and urban farming, to being a female running a cross-fit club, to becoming a certified kayaking instructor and an outdoor education teacher, I began to see and overcome the many limiting gender norms ingrained within society and my own mind. The biggest moment of growth for me however occurred when at 19 I decided to move by myself to a 200 person village in Andean Ecuador. Thanks to the generosity of the family and community I lived in, I was able to learn from their traditional farming practices and developed a passion for agroecology and small scale farming. Today I am lucky enough, thanks to the TD and UBC scholarships to be studying agroecology within the Global Resources Systems Degree(GRS), in the faculty of Land and Food Systems. As GRS is an interdisciplinary program, I take classes from a variety of disciplines including business, sciences and political sciences, which allows me to see the many problems facing our food systems through different lenses.
It is my hope that through the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference I will be able to apply these perspectives and integrate new ideas to develop a better understanding of agriculture in Canada and my role within it. Today we see more females entering into the farming industry than ever before. Having grown up rurally, both here and abroad, I see these food-producing women as foundational to our societies and I have always aspired to be a part of this cohort of change makers. As StatsCanada points out, the majority of these female farmers are choosing to continue in post-secondary education, and while I am extremely grateful for my courses at university, I believe that some of the best learning experiences take place outside of the classroom. For me this conference represents an opportunity to expand my knowledge in a number of areas including finance, leadership and community building. As someone with many ideas for my future, I am interested in hearing the stories of how others took their dreams and turned them into realities. I am particularly interested in the speakers who touch on profitability, entrepreneurship and money management, as the business side of things can be the most difficult. Furthermore, figures suggest that many young farmers such as myself are increasingly having to find “off-farm” work to support their livelihoods, so I see this as an opportunity to discover and network with people in the agribusiness sector where my education and passion could also be applied. We know that the future of farming does not look like what it did 30 years ago. With changing climate, market pressures and advancing technology, the farming females of the future will have to be more intelligent, ingenious and adaptive than ever before. As a passionate advocate, scientist and student of farming and food I believe this conference is exactly what is needed to inspire and connect women such as myself to the tools and resources they need to develop innovative solutions to these complex problems.
-Noa Bridson, 2nd year, Global Resource Systems, University of British Columbia
I am currently in my fourth year of studies at Olds College in the Bachelor of Applied Science Agribusiness program. I have just completed my Directed Field Study component of my degree at Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, where I was able to work in the lending, insurance, and Continuous Improvement departments. Prior to attending Olds College, I completed my Associate Diploma in Agriculture at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. Overall, my post-secondary education experience has introduced me to so much new learning and so many opportunities I never thought I would have.
My work experience in the agriculture industry includes working on a dairy farm, Robins Holsteins, primarily feeding, milking, and caring for the livestock. I also worked for an agro-tourism operation called Rounds Ranch, where our mission was to deliver a fun and educational experience to people with little agricultural knowledge.
And most recently, I worked for AFSC and got to try out many different positions within the organization. In the past year I have attended conferences such as Farm Tech and Agri-Trade. My favourite thing about attending agriculture focused conferences like these is the chance to network and meet other people in the industry. As I am not from Alberta originally, I am working on building stronger connections with those in the industry as I believe it creates opportunities in the form of jobs, support, and friendships. I am specifically interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference because of its emphasis on women in ag. I believe that this conference will have the opportunity to hear the success stories of other women in the industry and inspire me to achieve my goals.
-Madison Bumstead, 4th Year, Applied Science majoring in Agribusiness, Olds College
(Please view my video!)
-Jenna Burke, Olds College, Agriculture Management
“I haved been working on farms since I was 14. I started getting into the dairy industry about two years ago and have been invested ever since. I am currently in my second year of agriculture management at Olds College. I am interested to see how women in ag are chaning the industry each day. It will be very benifical to meet more women in the industry.”
-Delia Carlson, Olds College, Agriculture Management
“I was born on a grain farm (mostly corn!) in the south of France before my parents decided to explore the prairies of Canada. Three years after buying a farm in Ste Agathe, Manitoba, we finally moved here and the adventure began. I was ten years old and my passion for agriculture grew, especially in plant science.
After graduating from high school, I enrolled at the University of Manitoba Agronomy. I started working with Prairie Sky Crop Production, starting off in the office and with their help, I was able to work in the field to explore and gain even more knowledge in agriculture. I love working with clients, farmers, and love the dynamics of a retail environment (even if it can be overwhelming at times!). My duties included taking soil temperatures and helping treat soybeans seeds in spring, organizing the crop protection plan, figuring out spraying rates during fungicides season and checking fields for lygus and flea beetles. I am exited to continue my path in agriculture. Next year, I will work there as an agronomist assistant and will be able to learn so much more. I would love to attend AWC to meet people and expand my circle and connections. I think AWC would help guide me and motivate me to do so much more. It’s so important to see women accomplish great things and being able to meet some of these women would help me in my future and show me that with a little motivation, anything is possible.”
-Margaux Cassagne, 3rd Year Agronomy, University of Manitoba
“I am an international student from China. I am in the 2+2 program of food science, I finished my last 2 years’ study in Huazhong Agricultural University (China) and then I come to University of Manitoba to further my study. And this is my second semester in UM. During the last semester, I become a part of Agriculture Mentorship Program in Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences. Next semester, I will work in Dr. Peter Erk’s lab as a lab assistant, and my research will focus on gene-specific dietary recommendations and anti-glycation. After finishing my study in University of Manitoba, I want to get my master degree in nutrition. I look forward to attending AWC where I can meet many successful women in my area of study and they might give me some meaningful suggestions to my career. This conference might be the first step to achieve my future goal.”
-Angelina Ding, 3rd year Food Science, University of Manitoba
“I was born and raised in the south end of Calgary, Alberta. Born a city kid wishing to escape. As a young child I got very involved in western horse-back riding and soon became involved at a ranch north of Bragg Creek. It was here I became witness to a single woman successfully running her own angus operation and I was inspired. I quickly fell in love with cattle and applied for the Agricultural Management program at Olds College. Here at the college I have gained so much more experience with large animals, specifically bovines, and have fallen even more in love with them. I was hired on at the local auction mart penning and sorting and I continue to jump on any opportunity to work with cattle or any livestock outside of class and labs. I have selected the Production major and have focused my classes towards learning all I can about Alberta’s livestock and mainly beef industry. I have a fire for animal agriculture and can’t wait to graduate and pursue a career doing what I love.
One of my instructors at Olds College, Sandi Jones, pulled aside all of the girls in our Beef Cattle Management class one day and told us about this conference that changed her life. Hearing the praise from her, watching the promotional videos, and reading about past speakers, I can’t imagine a more encouraging place to be than in a room full of such knowledgeable females. I have faced some struggles and comments along my working journey in the livestock industry and to find myself at this conference would give me the perfect boost of confidence and encouragement I am needing. As I approach the end of my last semester in Agricultural Management, I am realizing my career is just now beginning and I still have so much to learn! I know I would absorb so much amazing information at the conference and hopefully be able to make some useful connections with other ladies there. To hear and learn from stories and experiences other women have had in the agricultural industry would be of great benefit to me as I job hunt and begin in new work environments.”
-Brianna Dyck, 2nd Year, Agricultural Management/Production, Olds College
“I don’t have a farming background but I have helped family members on their farms. I grew up in Innisfail, AB, I graduated in 2008 and did various dead-end-jobs and decided I wanted something more in life. When I heard about the agriculture management program at Olds College I knew exactly at that moment—that’s what I wanted to take. I have always loved the agriculture community and always hoped to be a part of it. I am currently enrolled in my second year for Agriculture management in the production major. Once I am done this program I will come back to the college to get my Bachalor of Applied Science in Agribusiness.
I am extremely interested in attending this conference because I want to meet women who are in the ag community and build up my networking. I think it’s a huge positive reinforcement for women to see other women being successful in their field of work. I am very excited for this opportunity to meet new people and learn new things!”
–Emilie Edgar, Olds College, 2nd Year, Agriculture Management Production Major
“I grew up on a farm in Southwest Manitoba. We raise commercial cattle on a cow-calf pair operation. It has been a family business since my great grandfather immigrated to Canada. I am the first daughter born into the family and have not missed a beat being in the pens alongside my brother, father, and grandfather over the years. I graduated high school with honours and was contemplating what career path I should choose for my future. This ended up being an easy decision, as farming and agriculture is a huge part of my life, and I want to continue being involved within the industry. This led me to Olds College, where I am enrolled in the Agriculture Management program. I decided to major in production as this way I can take more livestock courses. Little did I know I have also fallen in love with the grain sector of the agriculture industry. This is where I had my first summer student job at an Ag Retail in Manitoba (Terraco). I have grown to be mesmerized by the agronomy sector and am pursuing a career in this position, as well as continuing to raise cattle with my family at home. Some other summer jobs that I have had within the industry was working for a farm hand for PoplarView Stock Farm in Pipestone, Manitoba. They have around eight hundred Limousin cow-calf pairs. I got to help in all aspects of the farm from in the pens, to the hay fields making bales.
I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference because I believe it will be a great networking opportunity for me, as well as a great way to hear from some powerful woman within our industry. As previously mentioned, I am the first daughter born into my family. The men in my life while old fashioned, have turned a corner and began to see me more as an equal on the farm. They allow me help make big decisions and do not limit me to what I can and cannot do. However, it was never this easy for me, and I am sure other woman have had to face this adversity within their agricultural careers. I want to be involved in a conference that is full of brilliant female minds, and learn about how these women are succeeding within our industry. As well I think that this will benefit my career within the agronomy sector as it is another great opportunity to practice my networking skills. By going to this conference I think that it will boost my confidence as a woman within the industry and teach me many new tools to “grab the bull by the horns,” when I graduate in the spring.”
-Victoria Eilers, 2nd Year, Production, Olds College
“I grew up on a grain farm in southeast Saskatchewan near a small town called Fillmore. After high school I moved to Saskatoon and am in my 4th year at the University of Saskatchewan/College of Agriculture and Bioresources studying agronomy. After my first and second year of university I returned home to work at Top Notch Farm Supply as an agronomist assistant. Last summer I broadened my experience by working in Indian Head SK at the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation (IHARF). After this year, I plan to return to my family farm to work and begin my thesis project. I am interested in attending the AWC to meet other women in the industry and network with them. It would be great to have a network of women to communicate with throughout my career. I could get tips and advice from them on how to become successful and overcome challenges.”
–Logan Fahlman, 4th Year, Agronomy, University of Saskatchewan/College of Agriculture and Bioresources
“I come from a family grain farm just outside of Brandon, MB. Currently I am in my first year at Assiniboine Community College studying ag business. I have spent multiple years operating numerous vehicles and machinery on the farm. I have also spent a summer working at Shur-Gro Farm Services delivering chemical, mixing fertilizer, and other duties. I want to know how to make myself more respected in the Ag industry by hearing other strong women in Ag tell/share their stories.”
-Kate Fergusson, 1st Year, Ag Business, Assiniboine Community College
“I am a 24 year old woman who has attained a Diploma in University Transfer courses in Bachelor of Education Elementary from Red Deer College. I am passionate about learning and the education of future generations. I intend to further my education throughout my career. I am currently attending Olds College and completing courses for the Agriculture Management Production Diploma. I have worked for ten years in customer service and labour intensive jobs and they have taught and granted me with invaluable experiences about working with and for all kinds of people and in various scenarios. My parents were raised on small farms, they were raised with good morals and a great sense of family. I was raised on an acreage and while I love the way I have been raised my home has always been on my grandparents’ farm. My grandparents have a small farm in Central Alberta and I have always admired the sense of community that they share with their neighbours who farm. This community is supportive, genuine and honest. These are the type of people who I aspire to model my life after and they are not just in my small community, these qualities embody the farming community as a whole. The agriculture industry has been built and maintained through similar values and these values are integral characteristics that I seek to surround myself with.
Supporting, connecting and empowering women is important for the succession of both women and the evolving agriculture industry. Attending the 2020 Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would be an amazing introduction to an entire society of women who have pioneered in an industry dominated by men. This conference would include me into an association for women who I would have very little opportunity to meet otherwise. Agriculture families are blessed to network and interact and learn from each other throughout their entire lives. The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference offers me the opportunity to meet, and learn from these same empowering individuals regardless of my limited previous presence within the industry. I have always been very passionate about people, my family is the most important influence in my life and I highly respect an industry stocked with people who feel similarly. I feel a great sense of pride in constanly furthering my education and teaching others, I previously aspired to be a teacher and while that is still an ambition of mine it has changed slightly. I intend to work with the agriculture industry in finding an approach to bridging the gap between urban and rural people and the understanding of the agriculture industry, its value and its integrity. I want to pursue sustainability and transparency among Central Alberta farms and encourage them to lead the industry in a safe, sustainable and future forward way. The Advancing Women Conference presents the opportunity to meet women who are already working towards these goals and for us to collaborate.”
-Michaela Fisher, 2nd Year, Agriculture Management Production, Olds College
“I grew up in the suburbs north of Philadelphia. I was raised in a populated suburban/urban area with other cities such as New York, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. within a three-hour drive. Both of my parents grew up in the same area I was raised in but had different relationships with food. My mother, as the oldest of nine, grew up growing the ingredients and preparing meals for her brothers and sisters and came to resent cooking in her adult life. My father, as the youngest of six, never prepared a meal until late in his adult life. Overall, I grew up disconnected from the overall process of food production, from growing food to cooking food. However, from my mother, I gained appreciation for knowledge. From my father, I gained appreciation for nature. These two aspects influenced me to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from Susquehanna University, a small liberal arts university located in central Pennsylvania.
After graduating from Susquehanna University, I began to work at a local Pennsylvania brewery as a server and bartender. Eventually, a position opened in the quality assurance lab and my scientific training granted me the opportunity to work in the scientific field again. I enjoyed learning more about the scientific process associated with brewing and working in a laboratory setting once again. After almost two years into my employment in the craft brewing industry, I realized I had stopped gaining knowledge from my day to day lab tasks at the brewery. I realized I felt stagnant and that I did not feel as fulfilled with my work when I was conducting research. I started looking for other opportunities at the brewery but ultimately felt as though I wanted my career to involve more than just making good beer for the masses.
I decided my career needed to allow me the freedom to find solutions to questions that could lead to a more positive societal impact and so I decided my next move would be to attend graduate school. Eventually, my search led me to Dr. Juli Carrillo, who was starting the Plant-Insect Ecology and Evolution lab at the University of British Columbia (UBC). This opportunity allowed me to engage with the blueberry industry in British Columbia as I my research sought to find more ecological based solutions for spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) management.
Before starting my MSc program, I considered science to be a passion of mine. However, after two and a half years of coursework, experiments, writing and defending a thesis I now know that I am a Scientist. I get excitement in my day to day life at the university as I know that I am able to not only ask questions but also seek answers to those questions. The experiences I’ve had thus far have shaped me into a scientist that considers the food system as a whole.
My fulfilling experiences as an MSc student at UBC has encouraged me to continue my academic pursuits. I am now a first year PhD student in Dr. Juli Carrillo’s lab at UBC. While my research strengths lie within the realm of plant interactions, I’m most looking forward to continuing to develop my collaborative research skills with other interdisciplinary scholars and food systems stakeholders. To this end, I feel as though my work challenges not only myself, but challenges our food system towards a more positive future.
Over the past few years, I have gained an insider perspective of the agricultural industry. I have spoken with the growers, processors, and the public through outreach events such as grower association meetings, and outreach events at the UBC Farm. In my experience, these events lack the voice of women in strong leadership roles. I believe that by including our voices, we can lead the industry towards a more sustainable and inclusive future. As a first year PhD student, attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would be of great value to me. At this moment, I am at an exciting point of my career. During this time, I am actively developing my research program. My goal for my PhD studies is to develop the necessary skills to have a rewarding and fulfilling career. I hope that by attending this conference, I will be able to grow new relationships with other women who share my passions for agriculture and food. By forming these connections at the conference, I will be able to incorporate these relationships and lessons into the upcoming years of my PhD program. This will allow me to conduct more applicable research for our industry. The agricultural industry is strengthened when our relationships and interactions form a well-connected community. I don’t want to finish my PhD with a bunch of words in a Journal where it cannot be utilized by the industry. In order to be successful, I want my research and skills to be incorporated by agricultural industry through on farm practices, to government legislation. However, I cannot do this on my own. I require a well-connected community in order to strengthen myself and my research to myself and the future of this industry successful. I believe that by attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, I can help become part of and help lead the way towards an industry that is more inclusive.”
-Chelsea Gowton, 1st year PhD, Plant Science, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
“My passion for agriculture stems from its uniqueness and values, and it ultimately why I chose to pursue a degree in Agriculture Sciences at Lethbridge College. After I finish my degree, my dream is to eventually take over my parent’s farm. Currently, I work on the farm on weekends and school breaks. During grade school and leading up to college, I have had various other part-time and full-time positions. Some of my favorites were grain bin building, nannying in Germany, and working at a greenhouse.
My dream is to one day manage my family’s farm. Some days I believe this dream is achievable, and other days, I become overwhelmed by the various gender-based stigmas and expectations that present potential barriers. AWC is a major networking opportunity which would help me connect with otherwise unavailable information and contacts. In addition, I see it as an opportunity to be inspired. Sometimes I feel alone in this pursuit of running a farm, and I find encouragement through connecting and learning from other women who are faced with similar challenges, or who have already overcome these challenges.”
-Emily Gross, 1st year, Agriculture Sciences, Lethbridge College
“My passion in agriculture has been growing increasingly throughout my entire life. My childhood was unique as I grew up with my mom who is a large animal vet, with a specialization in pigs. From a young age, I remember travelling to barns with her, assisting her with tasks such as taking blood or doing post mortems. I loved the industry so much and wanted to learn more so I pursued a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Guelph. During this time, I also worked with a research group at the Ontario vet college who have a focus on swine. This job has taught me a lot about swine, but also about farmers and their important role in the industry. This job sparked my interest in swine and large animal research. Through this, I have taken an interest in research and have pursued other research jobs and developed a passion to contribute back to the Agricultural community in a way that I am a good at. After finishing my degree, I obtained at job at Ontario Pork, first as a research summer student. I worked with a veterinarian who was a pig specialist and did in-field research. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting farmers every day, while doing research projects on topics that were important to them. After working a summer in research, I started a new position in the management department at Ontario Pork. This position provided me with a better understanding of the pork industry. I learned a lot about programs involved with swine farmers, economics of pig farming, the feed industry and basic communication and office skills.
In fall of 2019, I was accepted at the University of Montreal. I am currently in my first year, studying a vaccine to treat a disease in pigs. My ultimate goal is to end up at the Ontario Veterinary College and pursue a future in large animal medicine.
I want to attend the AWC conference because I want to keep growing in the industry. I personally think that getting to know people and making connections are important, especially in the agriculture industry. Throughout the last couple years, making connections have pushed me to new experiences in life. I never would have thought I would move to Montreal to start a degree, but this opportunity has truly been amazing and I am so excited that my research will contribute back to swine producers and the swine industry. I hope AWC would help improve my leadership skills, make me connections and grow and move towards a career that I am truly passionate about with the opportunity to give back to the agricultural community. I want to advance my skills to become a leader in agriculture. The Ag community has truly given me many amazing opportunities and I want to give back, help improve and to show my passion for the next person to want to do the same.”
-Alison Jeffery, 1st Year, Masters of Veterinary Science, University of Montreal
“I grew up in Kitchener Ontario surrounded by agriculture but never really felt a part of it, it always seemed to be just something that happened around me. I have always had a love of nature, plants and all things living and spent a lot of time playing in the soil in the yard of my mums house growing up. I have had a connection with the land we stand, grow and build on since day one. Fittingly so, my first real job was at a flower shop working with plants, cut flowers, seeds and soils. As my love for plants and the environment grew, I started a degree at the University of Waterloo (UW) in a degree that had nothing to do with plants or the environment. I quickly realized that the program I was in at UW was not the program I needed to grow in the directions I wanted to. After a short visit to Vancouver in the fall of my first year at UW, something about British Columbia took my breath away. Once I started looking at the programs at UBC and found Land and Food Systems (LFS), I had made up my mind. By May of the following spring, I had applied and been accepted at UBC, packed my bags and moved to Vancouver.
Upon starting school at UBC, I never knew what LFS would teach me about how closely related and integrated environmental, political and social issues are in our local and global food systems. Going into LFS all I knew was that I loved plants and nature and had an interest in sustainable agriculture. I quickly came to discover a love for agroecology, agriculture research, agriculture education and policy. It all fascinated me, all the more because its a system that I have been a part of my whole life without realizing my own impacts, the impacts the current system has on me and the people around me. Our food production and distribution systems are filled with complex, inter-linked issues that need critical thinking and systems based solutions. LFS has given me the chance to practice and become comfortable with addressing complex issues in our agricultural systems and taking multiple different approaches and perspectives to find all-encompassing solutions.
My program of choice was sustainable agriculture and environment, because I have a firm belief that innovations in agriculture have the ability to change and improve the future lives of all living things on this planet. Agriculture is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution and biodiversity loss globally. Creating agroecosystems that are more sustainable and productive IS possible!! But it will take a shift in the education and policy in agriculture as well as continuous research and learning, considering many ways of knowing. It will take the connection of farmers, scientists, economists, environmentalists, engineers and a real understanding of how to create holistic solutions to really complex problems in our current local and global food systems. Using land and resources to grow food is not something we can escape as humans, what we can do is minimize the impact we have, protecting our lands, social rights and economy long term.
In LFS I have had the chance to work and volunteer in leadership roles (café fincance manager/general manager, assistant floral manager), educational roles (Learning Outreach Coordinator in LFS Student Services), with community partners (such as the City of Vancouver), as an urban farmer and as a student. All of these experiences have contributed to the goals I have for my future.
As my career continues, I hope to work in many areas of the agriculture industry including education, policy, research and agri-business. With all of the knowledge I have gained through my experiences in and out of the classroom in Vancouver and home in Ontario, and all that I have left to gain for the rest of my career, I hope to make a lasting impact somewhere along the way in agriculture. Our future needs food; food produced without compromising the needs of others further down the line.
As much as Vancouver has become a home to me, it is not the agricultural centre of Canada and I believe the advancing women in agriculture conference will give me the chance to connect all that I have learnt to the heart of agriculture industry in Canada and better prepare me to work with farmers and industry leaders in the future to create better agroecosystems for all. I look forward to meeting and connecting with women from all areas of the industry to learn and share our experiences, beliefs and visions for the future of agriculture in Canada and around the world.”
Here is a link to my LinkedIn page >
-Cara LeGault, 3rd Year, Applied Biology/Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, University of British Columbia – Faculty of Land and Food Systems
“I grew up on the Northside of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, and in the Prairies of Manitoba. I been actively involved with the equine industry since I was young, as my uncle was a standardbred racetrack trainer. This transitioned into the agriculture industry after graduating from high school, when I started helping on a mixed grain and beef cattle operation. This is where my passion and dedication to agriculture sprouted. My motivation and drive to learn led me to the University of Manitoba School of Agriculture, in which I graduated with an Agriculture Diploma in Livestock Management. I spent the following year working full-time for a soil and aggregate company in Oak Bluff, and part-time at a dairy farm in Petersfield. I then decided to further my post-secondary education at Olds College to expand my competencies and participate in experiential learning situations. I then made the move to Central Alberta and am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness degree program. I enjoy working with both horses and cattle, and exhibits skills that range from the field, to the office. Although I didn’t inherit the farming lifestyle, I chooses to embrace it and immerse myself in it through education, work, volunteering and rodeo. I am a member of both the Manitoba Barrel Racing Association and Heartland Rodeo Association. I holds the position as Vice President for the Olds College Rodeo Team, and was selected to be an Olds College Student Ambassador. I previously volunteered as an Equine Leader for the Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association. I believes in Western culture and values, and prides myself in being an advocate for Canadian agriculture production.
Attending this conference would help me further build my advocacy and leadership skills, which is my goal. It would also give me the opportunity to network and connect with women who have the same passion as I do. All of these aspects would aid me in furthering my career in the agriculture industry by building my knowledge and confidence.”
-Madison Leonard, 3rd Year, Agribusiness, Olds College
“I have a small hobby farm in North Western Ontario. I am currently enrolled in my second year of Agricultural Management at Olds College where I then want to go further with my education to University of Manitoba for a degree in Agribusiness. I have worked at a small and large animal vet offices for the last 4 years in my hometown of Dryden. I have gained lots of knowledge and experience working there.
I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference for the ability to gain knowledge from the female prospective, listen to stories, learn from others and be in a room with lots of talent and passion. I am going to benefit by listening and talking to women in the industry that has the same or more passion than me and learn for the future. As I am planning on opening my own feed business, I plan to gain some information and motivation that will allow me to do so.”
-Meaghan Lovett, 2nd Year, Agricultural Management, Old College
“I was lucky enough to grow up around agriculture but in a different area than many of my peers. I grew up on a 60 acre farm in the city of Langley, BC which gave me a better appreciation for the importance of a strong farmer to consumer relationship. We produce and sell hay to local horse farmers. As well as working equipment and doing sales for my home farm, I have worked on a dairy farm since I has in high school. After graduation from high school I attended the University of the Fraser Valley and got my diploma in ag technology with a focus in livestock production and had the honour of receiving declarations when I graduated. I am currently a 3rd year student in post diploma program at the University of Lethbridge working towards my bachelors of science with a focus in agricultural studies. Upon graduation I hope to pursue my passion for ruminant nutrition for my masters. Everyone in agriculture has a different journey and reason why they are passionate about it, which is why I want to attend AWC. Hearing their experiences and hardships will help me on my career journey.”
-Beverly Lynch, 3rd Year, Agricultural Studies, University of Lethbridge
“I grew up on a mixed farm operation in Taber Alberta, raising both commercial cattle and growing irrigated crops. I was heavily involved in 4-H for 9 years and worked with both cattle and sheep through my years of 4-H. I am currently at the University of Lethbridge working towards my degree in finance with a focus in Agriculture Management. During the academic year I am involved in various clubs including the UofL Aggies and Finance club, I held the treasurer positions from Fall 2018 – 2019. For the past 4 years I have spent my summer working at AFSC in both the office and field. Through this summer position I have enjoyed travelling southern Alberta and learning about crops. I attended my first AWC in 2018 in Niagara Falls. This was a huge venture for me – to take the initiative and travel on my own to a conference, but it was well worth it. I was able to meet and network with many women throughout the conference, and loved to see how passionate and community driven each woman was in her own way. This year as I am graduating, and I will be looking forward to doing more networking and potential career searching at AWC.”
–Lauren Machacek, 5th Year, Management, Major Finance, Minor Ag Enterprise Management, University of Lethbridge
“I grew up in the grater Edmonfon area. I was lucky epough to grow up on a small equine operation that opened the doors to many travel opportunities. Upon graduation from high school in 2009, I went straight into the workforce. I tried my hand at a variety of different industries from oil and gas, safety, administration, and veterinary. After my time at a local vet clinic, I knew l wanted to stick with my agricultural roots and decided to head back to school. I was accepted into Olds College in 2018 to pursue the Agricultural Management Diploma. I am currently enrolled in the second year and plan to return this fall to start the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, Majoring in Agribusiness.
I am interested in the conference because I want the opportunity to connect and build relationships. This conference showcases women in all aspects of the Ag industry and for newcomers to it, it can be a bit daunting. By being able to talk with others about their trials and tribulations, it deep roots that we are not alone in this. The talks and workshops offered at this year’s conference are of special interest to me as well. These will allow me to add valuable skills and knowledge to my future career.”
-Shelby Masse, 2nd Year, Agriculture Management, Olds College
“Hi, my name is Kayla. I am a second year Olds College student studying Agricultural Management majoring in Production. I chose to take this program because I have a strong passion for the ag industry. Furthering my knowledge on the land and animals excites me, I really enjoy the hands-on labs. I grew up on an Angus Hereford cow/calf operation in the west country by Sundre, AB. Right from a little girl, animals were my world. As I got older there was no doubt that I would persue a career where my time and attention would be on them. Growing up I explored many work forces from fast food, tire shops, dog kennels and the family farm. The jobs that involved attention to animals were by far my favourite. Being able to wake up and check cows at midnight, to helping the calf suck is something I want to do for the rest of my life.
I am a women of agriculture that will one day take over the family farm. With that responsibility I will be required to have good communication, goals, life strategies, financial management, independence, and a plan. What better way to learn that than by meeting other girls in the same or similar fields and talk to them about their backgrounds and goals. The agriculture industry is not a single-person job, by meeting other women like me I can connect with people and we can all grow together in the industry. Uplifting and motivational words can impact how someone faces their career and what they do with it. I want to be uplifted and motivated so I can step into the agriculture community with a family and pursue my career.”
-Kayla Moore, 2nd Year, Production, Olds College
“Grew up in the interior of BC on a cow/calf operation. Supported my family farm while my husband and I ran a equestrian business for 25 years. Returned to post secondary education in 2015 in the Ag Management program at Olds College. Main interest and passion is the financial side of Ag and animal welfare around the management of cattle.
I think attending this conference would be a great opportunity in seeing the ag industry from the women’s point of view. Also the chance to net work with the women of the leaders in our industry.”
-Jill O’Neill, 2nd Year, Ag Management Commerce, Olds College
“I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to experience agricultural opportunities in my personal life, education and work. I grew up spending my summers helping on a cereal grain farm in Saskatchewan. I am beginning to look towards pursuing a masters degree in pathology or plant breeding. I was able to attend AWC EAST and it truly provided me with the insight on the vast opportunities available to women in ag. I made connections with amazing women form across Canada that I thought I would never get the opportunity to meet. I would like to continue to improve my network in the industry as I near the end of my degree.”
-Alexa Peterson, 3rd year, Plant Biotechnology, University of Manitoba
“I grew up on a grain and beef cattle farm in southeast Saskatchewan, near a small farming community called Fillmore, SK. I completed kindergarden through grade 12 in Fillmore, SK. After I graduated high school in 2017 I moved to Saskatoon, SK to complete a BSA with a major in animal science and a minor in field crop production. After my first year at university I worked as a chore person at El-Nell Farms in their dairy cattle barn. Last summer I worked for Parrish & Heimbecker as an operations intern completing tasks in the office, chemical shed, and out in the field. After this year I plan on returning to Parrish & Heimbecker for the summer as well as take two field courses through the University of Saskatchewan and begin work on my thesis project.
I am interested in attending the AWC to meet other women that are working in the agriculture industry and communicate with them and learn about experiences that they might have had in a similar field that I am studying. I would also like to communicate with other women about possible career options and to continue to communicate and work with these women throughout my future in the agriculture industry.”
-Rebecca Popowich, 3rd year, BSA/Animal Science, University of Saskatchewan/College of Agriculture and Bioresources
“I am originally from Minnedosa, Manitoba and currently reside in Gilbert Plains with my boyfriend Kent and our dog Duke. Agriculture is a large portion of both towns and I am happy to be involved in it. My grandma resides in Gilbert Plains as well, and we rent out 600 acres of our land. I am hoping that I can farm this land in the future. I am enrolled in school at the University of Manitoba taking the diploma in agriculture program with plans to graduate in May of 2020. I have worked doing research on small and large scale plots through Parkland Crop Diversification Genter and Bayer Crop Science. Once graduated, lwill be returning full time to 360 Ag Consulting in Roblin, Manitoba where l was a summer student for 2 summers. Through working at 360 Ag Consulting it is where I found that this was the area of the industry that I needed to be in. Helping producers from the beginning of the growing season to the end is something that I have grown a great interest in. They trust me to aid them in decisions and that is something I don’t want to give up.
I am interested in attending the event because I had a positive experience at the conference in Niagra Falls. The speakers at the conference were very informative and interesting. I loved how there was women who had been in the industry for a few years all the way to women who had been involved for many years. This event sends out a positive message to women in agriculture and promotes success. This is something that I want to be involved in! The event would benefit my career objective as I want to be able to continue in the industry and share my passion with other great women who love agriculture as much as l do!”
-Jordan Randell, 2nd year, Agriculture – Crop Major, University of Manitoba
“I grew up on a dairy farm that transitioned to a cow/calf operation. After graduating high school I travelled to England where I lived for 6 months. After I returned I took a job with ATB Financial and was a Customer Service Rep for 5 years before deciding to further my education with Olds College.
I would like to attend the conference because I’m excited about the future role women will play in the agriculture industry. I would like to hear more from strong women who have forged their own careers and advanced the industry. The micro-farms interest me including aquaponics and vertical farming. Diversifying is a key to building our industry and I would like to see success stories.”
-Kelsey Ratzlaff, Olds College, Agriculture Management
“I grew up working on my family’s grain & poultry farm south of Red Deer. We farm around 1900 ac as well as operate an 18000-bird laying barn. I have experience in construction, crop scouting, crop management, equipment operation and general management of all operations on our farm. I am planning on continuing my work on the farm after my graduation as well as continuing to pursue my education in farm management and obtaining my P.Ag.
The experience of attending the 2020 Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would benefit me by allowing me to connect with other women in agricultural careers as well as other the opportunity to learn through the experience of the speakers. I haven’t had the opportunity to get to know many other women in agriculture growing up and this would be an excellent environment to network and potentially make new friends and contacts. I have a commitment to self-improvement and I’m exited to learn any strategies that would benefit me and my farm as I move forward out of my degree and into the industry.”
-Kathryn Richards, 3rd Year, Crop Science, University of Alberta
“I am 18 years old and live in Listowe, ON, (when I am not at college in Vermillion, AB). I grew up on a turkey and cash-crop farm, and we also had sheep for a few years. I started 4-H when I was 9 years old and that is when my love for dairy started to grow. I am currently in my 1st year at Lakeland College in the Animal Science course with a focus on Dairy. I graduated Listowel High School in June of 2019. For the past 4 years I have worked at Legacy Holsteins where I scraped and bedded all the barns and assisted in any other jobs needed. At this time I was also a milker at Pendora Dairy. I have also done a coop placement at Shepherd Creek Farms, where I assisted with the daily sheep chores and other jobs such a vaccinating. My other coop placement was at Atwood Farm Supply, where I sorted seed and chemical orders for customers and delivered fertilizer spreaders and any other orders that needed to be delivered. I would like to attend AWC because I have heard nothing but good things from others who have attended the conference. I think this conference would be a great opportunity to network with women in the industry from the Western provinces as I don’t know many from this area. I think this conference would help me grow as a person, and learn skills that will help me in the industry after I graduate.”
-Hayleigh Royce, 1st Year, Animal Science Technology Dairy, Lakeland College
“I grew up working on a mixed farm just outside of Gleichen, AB. Being able to work with our cattle herd and help with fieldwork throughout the summer allowed to me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. Being able to work closely with cattle throughout my 4-H career directed me to pursue an education in animal sciences. Currently, I am in my third year of studies at the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in Animal Biosciences. Along with working on our family farm, my work experience includes working with swine. I have worked for Fast Genetics as a swine production technician, and have also worked in research at the WCVM looking at the effects of porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV) on pregnant gilts and their fetuses. My current areas of interest include intensive swine management, rangeland management, best practices for raising cattle, and environmental stewardship. I hope to be able to combine these interests in the future whether it be through job opportunities or continuing my education.
I am interested in attending the A WC to be able to learn from women who are also passionate about
agriculture. Being able to network with other students from across the country, as well as producers and professionals alike, would be an amazing opportunity to build community.”
-Jourdyn Sammons, 3rd Year, B.Sc, Animal Biosciences, University of Saskatchewan
“I grew up in a rural fanning community in Southern Saskatchewan. Although my parents didn’t farm, I have been passionate about animals and agriculture from a young age. I worked in a mixed-animal veterinary practice throughout my high school education, gaining valuable experience with animals and experiencing the world of livestock production. Throughout high school (and currently), I was also employed as a relief chore-hand on a grain and cattle operation, mainly looking after animal husbandry. My experiences allowed me to realize my love for animals and agriculture and I applied for the Animal Bioscience program at the Univeristy of Saskatchewan. I am currently in my third year of Animal Bioscience and am enjoying learning everything there is to know about the field. During my first summer of University, I worked as a swine production technician with Olymel in Rosthern, SK. My time there was spent learning the ropes about all areas of swine care and production, especially in the areas of farrowing and breeding. The next summer I was employed at the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon as a Research Assistant and got to experience the interface of agriculture and research. As I continue my educations, I am pursuing my dream of becoming a veterinarian and working in the agriculture industry.
I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference to learn from and be motivated by successful women who are currently in the industry about navigating the world of agriculture and reaching my full potential. I am also looking forward to networking with other students and future employers.”
-Jade Sands, 3rd Year, Animal Bioscience, University of Saskatchewan
“I was raised on a farm just outside of Lucan, Ontario. We have cash crops, sheep, cattle and horses. As well as, a small grain elevator. I have always been heavily involved in the agriculture industry either working around our farm, participating in various livestock 4-H clubs and having summer jobs in the industry. My previous summer jobs include working at a local grain elevator (Thompsons) as well as working at a dog grooming and feed store. I am currently attending Olds College for the Bachelor of Applied Science Degree. Previous to coming to Olds, I graduated from the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus Agriculture Diploma program.
I am very interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference because I have never been and I feel it will be an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity for me. It will also allow me to meet new women in the industry and network with others. By attending this event, I hope I can meet some new connections to help find the right career.”
-Laura Scott, 3rd Year, Applied Science Agribusiness, Olds College
“From a young age I have surrounded myself within the industry of agriculture. I am from a small town in Fort St. James, British Columbia. I grew up on a hobby-farm with purebred and commercial cattle along with horses and my own flock of sheep I started in the 4-H program. I was a part of the Fort St. James 4-H club for 13 years. For my final two years I was the regional yellowhead west ambassador for 4-H. Agriculture has always been a part of my life and is something that I have always been passionate about. After graduating high school I wanted to continue my post secondary education in agriculture. I have been attending Olds College for my Agricutlure Finance Management Dipolma. I am enjoying my final year at Olds College and have learnt a lot within the growing industry of Ag.
Having the opportunity to attend the Advancing Womens Conference would be a dream come true. I believe agriculture is one of the most important and life changing industries to be a part of. The Advancing Women Conference would be an opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge and network with other women in the industry. As a student and being a women in the agricutlure industry I want to enchance my learning and how I can benefit the resources I am given at this time.”
-Sydnee Schlamp, 2nd Year, Olds College, Agriculture Finance Management
“I come from a small hamlet called Anzac, Alberta, in the Wood Buffalo Municipality. I do not come from an agriculture background but I have become interested in the industry. My first career lead me to become a chef. I realized I didn’t want to be in that particular career, but instead the job before that, in raising our food produce and products. My love for food brought me to Olds College for the Agriculture Management diploma. I am in my 2nd year of the program and will be graduating this April of 2020. After graduating I want to take an internship at a ranch to further my experience in the industry, to gain confidence in myself to be in it. Once I am done with the internship I would like to go back to school to take environment land reclamation because I find that it will be important to learn it if I want to stay in the agriculture industry. I believe they go hand-in-hand with each other.
I am interested in attending the conference because I want to gain more knowledge to help me excel in my career. Also there will be many women at the conference that I will be able to connect with and we might have the same goals and ideology to share. I want to learn everything that I can about agriculture even if it doesn’t correlate with my goals because I think it’s important to at least be open about different and new things I haven’t learned or know of.”
-Javeleigh Seguin, 2nd Year, Agriculture Management, Olds College
“I am from a mixed operation located 20 minutes east of Innisfail called Maine Haven Ranching. In the past we were once a 300 head cow/calf operation however we now strictly grain farm on approximately 1200 acres. I graduated highschool in Innisfail and completed one year of study at Red Deer College in the Bachelor of Science, Agriculture program. This spring I will be graduating from the Ag Management diploma from Olds College, majoring in Agricommerce. My previous work experience includes working on the farm and for Bayer Crop Science as a Field Solutions Summer Research Associate.
I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference as I hope to learn about career opportunities within the industry that I am currently unaware of. As well as make connections with other successful women in the ag industry.”
-Cassidy Smith, 2nd Year, Agriculture Management/Agricommerce, Olds College
“I grew up on a grain farm near Wilkie, SK and have always had a passion for agriculture. After high school I attended the University of Saskatchewan and completed my B.Sc, in Agribusiness. Upon my graduation in 2018 I worked for a year as the executive administrator the Western Applied Research Corporation near my family farm. During this time, I married my high school sweetheart and we purchased a farm of our own. Within the year after graduation, I was given the incredible opportunity to come back to the U of S to pursue my M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics under the supervision of Dr Stuart Smyth. I am currently part way through this program. I am studying changes in crop rotations and the agricultural practices since the introduction of HT canola and the environmental effects of these changes, and I continue to help farm with my husband and both of our families. I would like to attend AWC to expand my network of women in the industry. Though collaboration, support, inspiration and friendship, women in agriculture must work together to build each other up to reach their full potential. This network will not only support me in my education and professional career, but also will support and encourage me through the challenges and opportunities I face personally and on my own family farm. I would also like to learn more about the challenges and opportunities women have in ag and take the knowledge home to my friends, colleagues and family to help build a stronger agricultural community.”
-Chelsea Sutherland, U of S, M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics
Emma Van Steekelenburg:
“I have worked on my family’s farm since I was young. We primarily milk and raise Holstein cattle. We also grow crops for feed and for sale. I personally own a small flock of commercial Suffolk sheep, and raise lambs for market. I have many jobs on the farm, such as feeding and caring for our calves, maintaining our milking robot, breeding, and keeping our animals healthy. Additionally, I assist with lambing in the spring and help with fieldwork in the summer. Currently, I am in my third year at the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in Animal Science. When I finish my degree, I plan to work abroad for six months before returning to the family farm. I eventually want to work towards full ownership of the farm and continue to farm in the future. I have also been an active member of my community. I was a member of the Brooks and Area 4-H Beef Club for two years, and the Green Acres 4-H Dairy Club and Tilley 4-H Beef Club for six years, with dairy heifer and market lamb projects. I held many executive positions, such as president for 2 Through 4-H, I attended many local, provincial, and national 4-H events, including many 4-H Alberta Dairy Shows, and the 2017 4-H Canada Citizenship Congress in Ottawa, ON. My biggest accomplishment in 4-H was raising and selling a market lamb for $4000 and donating the money and the meat to food banks in my community. I have also coached curling and volunteered in my church and at my local food bank.
Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would be very beneficial for many reasons. The conference would help me connect with professionals in the industry and discover more opportunities available for me. I would also be able to meet other women in the industry and learn from their stories and experiences about being a women in agriculture. Finally this conference would provide me the tools I need to succeed as a woman in the agriculture industry.”
-Emma Van Steekelenburg, 3rd Year, Animal Science, University of Saskatchewan
“My background is in Hospitality & Tourism Management. I love people and the customer service side of things. However, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the rural Alberta agriculture community and tie my schooling together. I am currently in my 3rd year of Bachelor of Applied Science degree program and hope to get involved with Community Engagement/Public Relations by educating the public on what happens on the farm and where we get our food from. I want to engage the public to go back to their roots of the land and learn more about agriculture. I have worked for the School Board as a teachers assistant, so I know that I enjoy teaching. I have also been a flight attendant and nurse, so I know that my passion is people and helping them and their needs. Therefore, working with the public by educating people about agriculture, just feels right.
I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference to be inspired by all the women who have become successful in the agriculture industry. I would like to meet these ladies in person and hear their stories, learn from their mistakes and gain advice for the future in the industry. I hope to make connections that will benefit my future employment opportunities in the agriculture industry.”
-Stephanie Wakefield, 3rd Year, Bachelor of Applied Science Agribusiness Degree program, Olds College
“I am from Xi’an in China. I grew up in rural China and my family sells agriculture-related supplies. I got my bachelor’s degree of economics in Huaqiao University in China and currently I am studying the economic benefits of crop rotations at the Department of Agribusiness and Agri-economics at the University of Manitoba. I was an intern student in Manitoba Agriculture in the summers of 2018 and 2019 working on research of crop rotations. Attending AWC will be helpful to exchange ideas in innovations. I would like to get to know other agricultural fields and expand my understanding of ag in Canada. To enable me to learn leadership skills and tools from role models in the industry will further my growth and benefit my future plans for personal and career growth.”
-Liu Yang, 3rd Year, Masters Degree Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, University of Manitoba
“I graduated with my diploma in Agriculture Mangment from Olds College in 2019. I am currently going to school at Lethbridge University taking the Post Diploma Bachlor of Science Degree with a Major in Agirulture. This is my first year at Lethbridge University and I will graduate spring of 2020. Through my experiences at Olds College and networking over the last few year, I have found a true passion in the agriculture industry. This was suprising for my family since I did not grow up on a farm or have any agriculture background. I grew up in Irricana Alberta and went to school at Beiseker, I was heavily influenced by rural farm kids throughout my whole childhood and had always been envious of their ability to enjoy the “farm life”. I had worked for a few farmers ouside of town durng harvest, operating either the grain cart or the combine. To me this was the “dream” and I decided that I would follow my passion by getting a degree in the Agriculture Industry. At Olds College I was introduced to the livestock management side of the industry, this is where my absolute passion lies. At Olds I took every livestock course that I could including my AI Technition Certificate, and spend many hours in the cold volunteering to calve out cows for the college. After my first year at Olds College I dived right into the industry with the idea that working in as many sectors as possible would broaden by experience and understanding. Last summer I worked as a ranch hand and and the summer before at a pig barn. While I was in school I milked cows every day for a farmer ouside of Olds. All of this experience has helped me gain the knowledge I need to continue my education and future career. I have been apart of both the Aggies Clubs at Olds College and University Of Lethbridge, through this club I have been able to build connections with producers as well increase agriculture awareness to others .My overall goals in the future is to continue networking with producers to gain experience and knowledge that I can apply in a industry job. The perfect career for me lies within the Livestock industry, reaserching and marketing. In the far future my life goal is to be a independent cattle producer and to continue to learn about the advancments in the agiruclture industry.
Attending the Alberta Womens Conference would allow me to build more connections with producers within the agiruclture industry. As a young women going into the agriculture industry it would be extremely beneficial to get a better understanding of the opportunites in the industry as well as industry specifics. With the skills and information form the AWC I will be able to share and use my knowledge with students in my club and community. Listening to successful/ influential women in the industry will be mentally influencial for my own future success.”
-Jessica Yasinski, 3rd Year, Agricultural Studies, University of Lethbridge
“I originally grew up on a cow/calf farm southwest of Edmonton, before my family moved to a mixed operation northwest of Red Deer. These roots first provided me with my passion for agriculture, which I continued to pursue through beef and equine 4-H. During highschool, I also participated in the Green Certificate program, obtaining my Equine Production Technician certificate in conjunction with Olds College. By participating in these two programs, I was able to see all that agriculture had to offer for youth. After graduating, I was unsure of which direction I wanted to go, but knew I wanted to broaden my mindset and knowledge. This inspired me to take a BSc. in Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge where I am now in my fourth year. Through my university career, I have also added on an Agricultural Economics minor to help me develop a more well-rounded perspective. My passion for agriculture also led to my active involvement in the U of L Agricultural Students’ Society throughout university. In my third year, I held the role of Vice President in the club, and this year I hold the role of President, both of which have been very rewarding positions. In the summers between university, I was able to obtain a Co-op Designation with the University of Lethbridge by acquiring experience working three summer terms in the agricultural industry. The first summer I worked in parent seed canola production, the second as a sales summer student, and the third as a summer crop scout. I quite thoroughly enjoyed all of these positions as they enabled me to learn a great deal about agronomy, network in the industry, and hone many applicable skills such as communication. Looking forward I would like to continue pursuing agronomy through my upcoming summer job and potentially look into an agrology-focused role later on to further my interests regarding a future career in the agricultural industry.
I am interested in attending AWC as I believe it offers me an opportunity to grow my passion for agriculture and learn about different aspects of the industry. AWC provides a valuable networking opportunity and offers me the chance to learn from many incredible, like-minded individuals with a similar passion. Since I hope to contribute to the agricultural industry one day, making those valuable connections with other individuals in the industry and hearing their stories will help me to gain a better understanding of the industry. I am very eager to expand my network and to continue growing my passion for agriculture.”
-Sydelle Zukowski, 4th Year, BSc. in Environmental Science, Minor in Agricultural Economics, University of Lethbridge