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 and diploma programs across Canada with companies looking to invest in future leaders!

Applying for Sponsorship

We regret that due to the lack of sponsors to sponsor students to attend AWC EAST 2022, the AWC EAST 2022 Student Sponsorship Program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. Please submit your application for future AWC conferences. Note, you can attend AWC EAST 2022 by registering as a student at our discounted price through our website. Thank you!

Would you like to sponsor a student to attend AWC?

Leading associations and agribusiness can take pride in supporting these young women and making this opportunity possible. That is what AWC has in store for you.

Call us at 403-686-8407 or email


Famke Alberts

University of Guelph, 2nd Year, Masters of Science – Epidemiology (Department of Population Medicine)

I have a variety of experiences that have developed my interest in agriculture. I completed my BSc at McMaster University in Honours Biology and Mathematics. During this time, I worked at McMaster as their Sustainability Assistant. As a part of this role, I was able to further my knowledge of sustainability and agriculture and what that meant from a farm-to-table perspective in a mass setting. Following my time as Sustainability Assistant, I had the opportunity to be a greenhouse research assistant for Dr. Sarah Jandricic at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. While in Dr. Jandricic’s lab, I got to learn more about the impacts of agricultural entomology, specifically, within Ontario’s ornamental greenhouses.

Currently, I am completing my MSc with Dr. Zvonimir Poljak in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. We are researching the use of machine learning and predictive modelling methods in the identification of hosts for viral infections. This research is especially pertinent in livestock settings and will hopefully become a useful tool.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because I think it will be a great opportunity to meet women in the industry and learn more about the vast opportunities available in the agriculture sector, specifically, livestock. The many testimonials I have seen show that this conference is a great resource for this, and I want to experience it myself.

Career-wise, I hope to continue to do research in this area beyond my master’s and would love to learn more about the innovative ways the industry and women within the industry are approaching challenges faced in agriculture. I think the opportunity for guidance will provide me with a chance to expand my career possibilities and meet other women with similar interests. It is stated that “This conference has a winning track record for networking and learning” and as I enter my career the most important thing to do is learn and seek guidance from those with experience.

Maria Camila Londono

University of Alberta, 1st Year, MS.c Student Animal Science

I am a DVM from the University of la Salle, Colombia. Since my undergraduate degree I had in mind what can I do to improve livestock systems by making them more productive and efficient, therefore, I decided to leave Colombia during my undergraduate degree and study 6 months in Brazil, where I expanded my knowledge in animal reproduction and my overview about beef production, when I returned to Colombia I had the opportunity to work on my research thesis based on molecular biology. After I got my degree, I went to Florida where I did an internship, in that research station I lived the intense and exciting work of laboratory and field activities in dairy and beef cattle research using commercial products in reproduction, evaluating their performance through molecular techniques. Later, I returned to Colombia where I applied what I learned in Brazil and Florida to work as a research assistant for the largest beef and dairy cattle research group in Colombia for 2years. Currently, I am a master’s student at the University of Alberta, where I am developing my research project in beef cattle nutrition. My research project will provide information on how feed efficiency contributes to heifer weather resilience specific to the conditions encountered in western Canada, and quantify cattle responses during summer and winter to further investigate if environmental stress abatement strategies are needed. My project will generate publications focused on the relationship between feed efficiency and weather resilience, and the overall impact of the environment on animal physiology, immunity, behavior, and performance. My plans continue in research by pursuing a doctorate, implementing molecular techniques to join physiology, reproduction, and nutrition to increase efficiency in livestock production and reduce the environmental footprint associated with beef production.

Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture will show me new ideas and techniques to empower women in science full of creativity. I believe that creativity helps us to solve situations, and problems and manage our daily activities as women in agriculture and food science. I am also sure that it will increase my curiosity and curiosity helps us understand how systems work, the systems in which we operate in our day to day in different areas in which we work, animal health, animal production, agricultural production, agricultural marketing, and boots our networking.

Moreover, settings goals is a constant challenge, I mean, the life change and you need to provide the best of yourself using your communication, resources, and independence. AWC wildly will deliver tools that I’m pretty sure would like to apply in my professional and personal life.

Pauline Chan

University of Alberta, 1st Year Graduate Studies, Bioresource Technology and Food Sciences

I am currently a 1st year MSc student majoring in bioresource technology at The University of Alberta. I kick-started my interest in food sciences during my undergrad when I switched my program faculties and enrolled in the Food Sciences Honors Program at the University of Alberta. During my undergrad, I had the opportunity to conduct 12 months of research in food safety and food microbiology. I investigated the persistence of Listeria monocytogenes on biofilms and their resistance against commercial-grade sanitizers. After graduating from my bachelor’s program, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree and continue academic research.

I am currently investigating methods and processes to improve the functionalities of plant protein. Our current focus is bean protein from fava beans. We are specifically looking into Canadian-grown crops in hopes that our research will benefit the agricultural and food processing industry in Canada.

I am very excited to attend the AWC because this conference is specifically catered to women in the agriculture industry. Traditionally, women in science, women in academia, women in agriculture have had limited opportunities to advance in their careers. Conferences such as the AWC offers a space and platform for women to network and share ideas; giving us an opportunity to learn and advance our careers.

I am looking forward to meeting like-minded individuals and having the opportunity to hear other inspiring women speak about their journeys and experiences in the agricultural field. Through this program, I hope to learn and be inspired. I believe this program will benefit my career objectives by offering me a chance to network and engage with mentors.

Veronica Cheng

University of Guelph, Graduated, Currently Research Assistant and Lab TechnicianMasters of Science, Poultry Nutrition

My educational background consisted of my attendance at the University of Guelph between 2016-2020 for my undergraduate degree with a major in Animal Biology. My program trained me to understand the different aspects of animal health and agriculture practices. Furthermore, I completed my Master of Science degree in 2021, specializing in Poultry Nutrition with the Animal Biosciences Department at the University of Guelph. My master’s project provided me the opportunity to manage experiments and collect data on layer and broiler chickens by looking at their performance on diet treatments and challenges. Specifically, my experiment looked at an alternative protein ingredient, black soldier fly larvae meal, and compared that with conventional ingredients as a more environmentally healthier alternative.

My previous work experiences consisted of farm and agriculture institutions. Currently, I am back in my Master’s lab in the role of Research Assistant and Technician that supports students while managing my experiments and sample analyses. I most recently had the opportunity to work at ISA, a hatchery division of Hendrix Genetics, located in Cambridge, Ontario and I learned about the different roles of maintaining a hatchery and the requirements to produce chicks. Working at the hatchery was a remarkable experience as I had upfront practice learning about poultry genetics and the business aspect of order fulfilment. I worked at Burnbrae Farms in Woodstock, Ontario where I learned more about the production of farm fresh eggs, cared for the thousands of laying hens, and experienced behind-the-scenes egg packaging that makes its way to store shelves for Canadian consumers.

As a woman beginning her career, I look forward to attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference to learn more about the backgrounds and stories of successful women in the industry. Key aspects of this conference are the experience of different perspectives on professional growth from the speakers and acquiring resources on my career path to success. Additionally, from the previous attendees’ reviews and the speakers interviewed on the website, and a statement from another woman professor (Dr. Lee-Anne Huber, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph), this conference is extremely valuable, exceptionally well organized, and inspirational to those who attend. I want to enhance my life and career to better help plan my future and set meaningful and attainable goals. I would love to hear and network with the speakers and students on their interests, passions, and backgrounds. Additionally, I am limited to the science aspect of my industry and would love to understand and gain deeper knowledge in the business portion of Agriculture. Beyond the reasons provided, it would be a wonderful opportunity to meet others in my generation with similar interests and I look forward to having a fun experience in a safe space. Therefore, I believe this conference will make a lasting impression on me and allow my abilities and resources to grow to help me succeed in the agriculture industry and my career.

Samla Cunha

University of Guelph, 2nd Year, PhD in Animal Biosciences

I was born in a small state in the northern region of Brazil where agriculture contributes a lot to the local economy. When I was young, I spent most of my summer vacation on my aunt’s farm where I had a lot of fun and learned about the farm’s daily activities. All these amazing summers helped grow my love for animals and the agriculture sector and made me pursue a career in this area as a grower. My first step to increase my knowledge in this area was to enroll myself at a technical school during high school where I studied the regular high school courses and the technical part about agriculture. I decided to continue my academic path with a bachelor’s in Veterinary Medicine. During Vet school, I found myself in Animal Breeding and Genetics where I enjoyed every opportunity I had and I worked as a teaching assistant, research assistant, and I also did internships in research centers. After I finished my undergraduate, I decided to pursue my career in research for two reasons. First, I am naturally a curious person. Second, I knew animal breeding and genetics required specific and deeper knowledge and a master’s and Ph.D. would help me build this. I enrolled myself in a master’s program in Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Sao Paulo State University, and during that time I had the opportunity to do a six-month internship abroad at the University of Guelph. This international experience enabled the possibility of an overseas Ph.D. at the same University which I started in 2021 at the Department of Animal Bioscience under Dr. Angela Canovas’ supervision. On my Ph.D., I am investigating genomic regions associated with resistance to nematode in sheep and we are hoping to apply this knowledge to the use of producers.

During my journey in academia, through high school, undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D., the majority of my professors and teachers were men. The agriculture and food sector are mostly occupied by men, especially the positions of power and leadership. Even though the opportunities increased over the past few years, it still can be very challenging for a woman to get out of the stereotypes and prejudices and build her career occupying a position of power and leadership. It will be remarkable to be able to participate in a conference only for women and hear about their experiences, difficulties, and advice, especially from women in different positions and backgrounds. Learning about other women’s experiences will help me to improve my abilities, it will increase my sense of leadership and communication, and it will help me build a more solid career planning for my future. Being able to learn from real-life examples and creating networking and mentorship will increase my chances to be a successful woman in both my personal and professional life.

Taylor Davies

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, 2nd Year, Horticulture

I grew up in a hamlet in rural Northumberland County and spent the majority of my time out in the woods, looking at plants. I’m not from an agricultural background, but rural Ontario is built on it and so I’ve always been surrounded by, and interested in, agriculture.

Before returning to school to attend the Horticulture Diploma program at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, I worked on an organic flower farm, then as a florist for several years. I realized that I was a lot more interested in the science of growing flowers, which evolved into growing plants in general, and so I decided to go back to school once Googling what I wanted to know wasn’t giving me the depth of information that I was looking for.

I’m 28, so I wasn’t quite ready to commit to four years at the UoG main campus after being out of school for almost ten years, so that lead me to the Horticulture Diploma program in Ridgetown. I worked on-campus as a research assistant for a Masters student in the winter semester of my first year, then again as a research assistant last summer on the Vegetable Field Crop IPM research team. I loved both – the depth of detail involved, along with the physicality of the work, both really suit me well. I really enjoyed the ebb and flow of the work, and how different each day can be.

I believe that attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference is essential to building my confidence as not only a woman, but as a newcomer to agriculture. Both plants and research are things that have always interested me, and now that I’m working with both, I really hope to continue in it with confidence. I’m considering continuing my education on the main UoG campus, which would provide the theoretical side of things that I’ll need to keep working in research, but having the self-assurance to continue is something that I would also like to work on. I’m very eager to keep learning and working in this area, and having strong professional skills with that agricultural lens is something that would be a huge asset for me.

Anna Fear

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, 2nd Year, Agriculture

I live on a farrow to finish pig farm outside of Brussels. This summer, I worked on my families pig farm. I enjoyed learning so many new aspects of working in the farrowing barn with the piglets and sows. I am interested in learning more about the production of the farm and how I can help make the farm more profitable and improve for the future. I have also worked on a dairy sheep farm. I enjoyed working with different livestock and having the experience of milking sheep. I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity of working at a greenhouse. I enjoyed working with my co-workers and taking care of the plants. I felt the sense of community by helping customers answer their questions and taking the plants to their car.

I am currently in my second year of agriculture at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. I am enjoying my second year as the courses are becoming more specific to what I would like to do in my future. I am taking a pork production class and an agriculture economics and marketing class. I love when the teachers talk about the importance of making decisions in class, as there will be many decisions to make in the future of our farm operation.

I am involved in my community by reading at my church. During the summer, while in high school, I worked as a lifeguard teaching swimming lessons and guarding public swims. I have also competed in the Huron County Ploughing Match princess competitions, where I had the opportunity to participate in a job interview and present a speech about agriculture. I appreciated being a part of this competition as I had the chance to speak about where I lived and how I loved agriculture. Over the years, I have been involved in a variety of 4-H clubs in my community. Currently, at Ridgetown Campus I am a peer helper. I especially love to help first year students with the livestock course. I am also involved with student council. My peers and I are working on planning events for all students to be a part of and have a great school year.

Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would benefit me as I am open minded to explore new career opportunities in agriculture. I enjoy hearing others stories about how they found their career and what got them interested in working in agriculture. As I am in my last year of college, I would like to be inspired to think about new ideas for my future in this industry. I would also like to tell the women around me about this conference, how they can attend to be inspired about their career and find new career possibilities in agriculture.

Attending a conference with women who love to work in the agriculture industry would be such a great experience to be a part of. From seeing the website and reading the stories presented in this conference, I am so honoured to apply to be a part of this.

Maria Fontecha

University of Guelph, PhD Candidate, Rural Studies

I am a journalist with nine years of experience working on sustainable development in developing countries, particularly in the Andes region. I have a master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice from the University of Florida. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Rural Studies pProgram at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development in the University of Guelph, and an Arrell Food Institute Scholar. I work under the supervision of Dr. Silvia Sarapura. My current Ph.D. research is focused on youth and their role in agricultural transformation in Colombia. I am particularly interested on how to migrate to more efficient and sustainable agri-food initiatives.

Regarding my experience, I was part of the of the team who created the first magazine that focuses on sustainability in Colombia. The name of the magazine is Semana Sostenible. It was a fantastic opportunity to uplift the voice of rural communities and to learn from different perspectives the critical elements to transition to a sustainable development pathway. Also, I have worked with smallholder farmers in developing countries to implement sustainable value chains in rural areas. These projects have provided me with knowledge and skill regarding the existing information and policy gaps, and management skills to ensure farmers improve their livelihoods after project implementation.

I have conducted research in developing countries. My master’s thesis was conducted in Caquetá (Colombia), a very remote area in the country. I worked with small farmers, most of them displaced due to the civil conflict and indigenous communities. My research strengthened my understanding of intersectionality and positionality in the field and the real lives of the people of the community. It also provided me with many skills and lessons regarding identifying potential risks while conducting research, and measures/actions to reduce them. I have contributed to positive and sustainable rural development initiatives throughout my career. These focused on forest conservation, labour, decarbonization economies, and fair and sustainable value chains.

I am applying to the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because it is an opportunity to meet inspiring women and their experiences in the agricultural sector. As a journalist, stories are my passion. I believe that there are many stories of personal and professional growth behind the work of the women attending the Conference. I would love to listen to the challenges, lessons, and successful and not-so-positive stories that shape the agricultural sector from a women’s perspective. These spaces facilitate that women from different backgrounds gather to share experiences, learn from each other, and uplift the ideas we share as a community. I want to be part of the story; this is why I want to attend the Conference.

Also, when I started my Ph.D., one of my goals was to bring more resources, information, and skills to Colombia, my home country. The Conference is a fantastic opportunity to connect my research and culture with powerful women and to build bridges between different experiences of the agricultural sector in the world. The Conference is an excellent space for knowledge exchange, and I would love to be part of the conversations regarding the cooperation between countries. Moreover, because of my professional experience, I will bring information and experiences from the developing world to the Conference. These experiences will complement the diverse perspectives regarding the sector in the Andes countries.

Nora Laseca Garcia

University of Guelph, 4th Year, PhD student in the Biosciences and Agri-Food Sciences

My name is Nora Laseca Garcia. I am a PhD student in the Biosciences and Agri-Food Sciences program in Spain. I am in my last year. And currently, I am at the University of Guelph continuing my PhD studies in the Animal Biosciences department.

I studied a degree in Biotechnology and a Master’s degree in Agri-Biotechnology and currently I am in a research group that focuses on animal genetic breeding. My research focuses on the study of reproductive traits and fertility in equines using genetic and genomic approaches.

Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would allow me to meet women passionate about agriculture and food, learn from them, and exchange knowledge.

I think it is an excellent opportunity to meet university students of agriculture, producers, entrepreneurs, and representative of a grower association or corporate agribusiness who can give me advice and ideas to broaden my knowledge. The conference is a great way to bring so many talented women together in one place.

Having contact with successful women, being inspired by them, and getting to know their impressions about agriculture and food nowadays, will allow me to get to know their points of view and how to approach my future. This will definitely help me to focus on my next steps in the world of agriculture.

Davinia Isabel Perdomo González

University of Guelph, 4th Year, PhD Student Researcher, Animal Biosciences

My name is Davinia Perdomo, I am 31 years old and was born in Valsequillo de Gran Canaria, Canarias, Spain. Valsequillo is a small town in the middle of the island, close to agriculture and livestock. I studied veterinary medicine at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, where I became interested in animal genetics improvement. There, I focused my final degree project on the genetic improvement of fish, specifically gilthead seabream, which is a booming market in the area. After that, I worked at a fish farm where I learned about fish production and management. One year later, I decided to obtain a master degree in Medicine, Health, and Animal Improvement at Córdoba University where I expanded my knowledge of animal production and breeding programmes, especially in goats, but also in other species.

Today, I work as a researcher in MERAGEM, a research group that is the main Spanish group and one of the most important at the European level in the area of genetic improvement of native breeds. In MERAGEM I do genetic evaluations, selection schemes support, organization, and optimization of selection nuclei, search new selection criteria, and develop new methodologies of genetic evaluation. I am also a PhD student at Sevilla University. The main objective of my thesis is the genetic and reproductive characterization of the Pura Raza Española horse. This is the reason I am in Guelph, as part of my Ph.D. studies, as a Visiting International Student Researcher at the Animal Biosciences department.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because we must do women work more notable, especially in agriculture, which has always been related to men’s work, but also in other fields such as science. Seeing how other women create and develop their careers will benefit women in the future by faciliting their access and exposing their work to the same level as men. At the present, this program will benefit me as an aspiration to not give up on my professional path and to strive for equality in all areas of knowledge.

This type of congress should exist to promote the analysis of the important dynamic role of women in rural areas, to advance in measures aimed at family reconciliation in the face of the double gap that the development of their activity in these areas implies, and to increase their competitiveness. The visibility of women in livestock farming should be understood as the company’s internal commitment to equality, equity, and inclusion.

Reese Gunning

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, 2nd Year, Horticulture

I am currently going to school for Horticulture, but I have a background in agriculture. I come from a family farm in Tweed. My parents operate a dairy farm milking 50 head of cattle. However, before getting the quota we had a herd of beef cattle (some of which we still have). When I was younger, I helped around the farm but as I got older, I gained more interest in the horticulture industry. This past summer I worked for a Greenhouse that produced and sold ornamental plants. I worked in their garden center location. I was responsible for looking after the plants by watering, fertilizing, pruning, and deadheading as well as assisting customers by giving them recommendations based on plant conditions and requirements. Overall, it was a good experience, and I gained a lot of knowledge about plants new to me and some that I already knew. In working there, I realized that I was more interested in producing food such as vegetables rather than ornamental plants. I now think that I would be interested in a career in vegetable production in the future but whether that be field production or greenhouse production I am unsure of still.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference to hear about the challenges and obstacles other like-minded individuals in the field have experienced and how they overcame them. I think I stand to gain a lot of knowledge from the ideas and perspectives of the other individuals speaking and attending. I believe this is a great opportunity to become more confident in my own career aspirations by being able to meet so many other individuals and hear their success stories. I am also excited about the opportunity to network and build connections with individuals in agriculture and similar industries. Overall, I am interested in this event because I believe it will be a positive experience that can only inspire and motivate me in my own career path.

Nicole Hiddema

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, 2nd Year, Associate Diploma in Agriculture

I grew up and currently live on a broiler chicken and cash crop farm operation, run by my parents. Both sides of my family come from agriculture, and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by it. Growing up I had the opportunity to visit all different kinds of farms in the area because of the farming community that my family is a part of. To me, agriculture and farming was a normal life. For this reason, I feel like I could not truly appreciate it until I became a part of it. Now that I have actively been a part of it for a few years I can say that I am very passionate about it and my involvement and future in the industry.
I worked for a barn equipment installation company on the install and service crew over my gap year between high school and college, as well as a couple of different dairy farms and a tree farm. This past summer I worked for Harriston Agromart as a junior agronomist/crop scout. This was one of my favourite positions because I was surrounded by amazing coworkers that were passionate about their careers and would share that with me throughout our workdays. I learned so much over the summer which I feel has made me more attentive to my school program at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus. I am in my second and final year of my diploma program at the college and enjoying every chance I have to learn there.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because it would give me opportunities to meet people that I might otherwise not get the chance to connect with. It is exciting to think about being surrounded by other women passionate about the same things as I am. Networking and relationships are so important in agriculture, and I would be so grateful for the opportunity to make connections with other women in agriculture.
This conference would benefit me in my path towards my full-time career by showing me options and connections. I love to hear stories of other people in the agriculture industry and how they got where they are and what they are passionate about. These kinds of stories motivate me to continue to work towards a fulfilling and impactful career in the industry.

Nina Hiddema

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, 2nd Year, Associate Diploma in Agriculture

I grew up on a broiler chicken and cash crop farm in Wellington County. I am grateful I was so fortunate enough to have lots of space to explore and learn about the environment around me, This gave me the opportunity to grow up and appreciate my surroundings and work hard for the things we have. I have rode horses my whole life and I still continue to ride and compete in many local shows and events! I have learned my love for animals through my horses and have learned more about their feed and how to produce good quality hay to keep them happy and healthy. I have also volunteered at my local food bank for a few years now and I enjoy seeing different products and the ingredients used in that product and learning more about how that ingredient was grown and produced. My favorite job on our farm is running the tractors in the field during planting and harvest. I enjoy cultivating in the spring and ploughing in the fall the most.

I am currently in my second year at the University of Guelphs Ridgetown Campus in the Associate Diploma in Agriculture Program. I took an agriculture class in high school where I found more of a love for the industry, and I can thank that class and teacher largely for where I am today and for reintroducing my love for farming. Also, for showing me different types of farms and other jobs within the industry. For the past two summers I have worked at the University of Guelph: Elora Research Center at the Research Station Operations. There, I operated heavy machinery and helped out with planting and harvest as well as hayledge and corn silage. When not in the field we did yard maintenance and machinery maintenance. Here I gained lots of experience with brand new equipment and learned more about the rapidly changing and improving technology that’s used in tractors to help improve farming.

I am very interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because being a woman in a male dominated industry makes me want to work harder to create as many opportunities for myself as possible. I learn best visually and by listening to and hearing others story. Having the opportunity to go to this conference, listen and speak to the other attendees, sponsors and speakers would be an amazing experience. I think it is amazing, especially post COVID, to be able to be in a room with so many women all with the same passion and love for agriculture as me. I would love to meet other women who work in the industry at this conference and make connections for help with possible business endeavours, career opportunities and overall success. I feel this program will benefit me career-wise and give me ideas for my future and learn more about advancements in technology and where we are today agriculture-wise. This will also benefit me personally and give me the experience of a lifetime to get to talk to so many incredibly successful people and strive to do my best to accomplish many things like those that surround me. I feel like there is always so much room to grow academically, socially and personally, and this opportunity will do just that!

Fathima Ishara Muhammadu Isham

University of Calgary, 3rd Year, Master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine

I am Ishara Isham a third-year master’s student from the University of Calgary, Canada. I am an international student from Sri Lanka and I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine. I have been working on three different projects at Careem’s lab in the University of Calgary briefly ‘Pathogenesis and host responses of Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) in chicken’, ‘Viricidal effect of paint with Titanium Oxide on Avian Influenza Virus’ and ‘Replication of SARS-CoV 2 virus in monocytes’.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. During my bachelor’s degree I worked on a project determining the presence of antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli in hospital wastewater and freshwater bodies. Following this I worked as a temporary academic staff at the University of Peradeniya for one year and then moved to Canada to pursue a master’s degree.

As a third-year master’s student I am planning to complete my master’s degree within the next six months and so I have started looking for different career options that are available for me in Canada. My first preference would be to pursue a career in academia. However, I am also interested in exploring other career options that are available and I would like to explore different career options in industries related to my field of study.

I am hoping that attending Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would provide me with an opportunity to interact with other students and sponsors. I believe these interactions would help me in networking, building my contact and give me a better understanding regarding different career options that are available outside of academia. In addition, I am looking forward to listen to the experiences shared by experts as I believe this would provide me valuable information that would help me in planning my career.

Christina James

University of Saskatchewan, 1st Year Masters & College of Agriculture and Bioresources, 5th Year, Animal Bioscience

I grew up on a small hobby farm outside of Prince Albert, SK where we have had various farm animals throughout the years including goats, cows, horses, chickens and peacocks. In my spare time I like to be outside with my animals, go hiking, read, bake and Bollywood dance. Currently I reside in Saskatoon, SK where I am pursuing a masters in Animal Science at the University of Saskatchewan. I graduated with a degree in Animal bioscience from the U of S in May of this year. My masters project is on the impact of foliar fungicide on barley silage quality and digestibility and the lactation performance of dairy cows in terms of milk production and composition.

I have worked at and volunteered at various veterinary clinics throughout high school and undergrad including Park Range Veterinary clinic (Prince Albert, SK), South Hill Animal Clinic (Prince Albert, SK), and Spiritwood Veterinary Clinic (Spiritwood, SK). I have also worked at Saskpower as an administrative assistant summer student where I gained skills of communication, organization and time management. I have worked for an infectious disease and vaccine organization on campus called VIDO- Intervac as a calf trial student worker. My most rewarding and exciting work experience was when I worked with pigs for the first time in Spiritwood, SK while working with Fast Genetics. My duties included piglet processing, heat checking sows, health checks of sows, breeding using artificial insemination, and semen collection from boars. This past summer I got the chance to work with the same company again for a month but this time as a lab intern where I worked with semen sex-sorting machines and procedures. I was also a part-time milker on a dairy farm for a year where I was responsible for milking 250-300 cows, set- up and clean- up. My leadership skills have been shown through my involvement as a peer mentor for first students, a notetaker in one of my undergrad courses, and being a part of the executive team for the Pre-Vet club on campus. During my fourth and final year of my undergrad I wrote a thesis on the “Advantages and Disadvantages of Early Socialization on Piglet Post- Weaning Stress, Performance, and Behaviour.

The Advancing Women in Agriculture conference will be an amazing chance for me to hear from the many influential and experienced women attending from across the country. It will be a great opportunity for me to build a community of friends, peers, and mentors. I can interact with people within the industry which share similar goals, ideas, and skills as myself. This conference will also be a great opportunity for me to grow and improve my skills of communication, leadership and working as a group. I hope to gain more knowledge about the strengths and challenges facing women within the agriculture industry if I attend the conference. It will be an inspiring event for someone like me who hopes to continue to build a successful career within the agriculture industry.

Stephanie Lam

University of Guelph, 1st Year, Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Hello! My name is Stephanie Lam and I grew my passion for agriculture throughout my experience at the University of Guelph, where I studied the beef industry and how genetic technologies can advance the efficiency and sustainability of beef production.

During my grad programs, I was fortunate to work across Canada in cattle research and create unforgettable experiences at externships and conferences where I’ve discussed the opportunities for agricultural research in Canada with producers, industry and academic professionals in this limitless field! I then developed a whole value chain perspective by studying beef and pork meat and carcass quality, helping me better understand the areas of need for novel tools and technology in the value chain. I then worked at Genome Alberta, a Not-for-Profit funding organization under Genome Canada, supporting funding programs for research initiatives using innovative genetics technology to advance Alberta and Canada’s agricultural sector.

From these experiences, I gained more insight on the challenges and opportunities throughout the value-chain. I am now a Post-Doc Researcher at the University of Guelph and hope to contribute more to our studies on how genetic tools can continue to help agricultural innovation lead at the edge of our field.

I have previously attended a AWAC and found it was a memorable and invaluable experience. There is something about interacting with other women in the Ag industry that empowers and inspires me to contribute and serve more to our community.

I believe attending the AWAC will benefit my career journey, as I will learn from successful and emerging leaders in the field and gain insight on opportunities as a researcher and as a 2023 Nuffield Scholar. I hope to mentor and lead as a successful woman in agriculture and serve our community by sharing my story and help others build the confidence to become leaders in agriculture as well.

Ainsley LeBlanc

University of Guelph: Ridgetown Campus, 2nd Year, Associate Diploma in Agriculture

I grew up on a broiler chicken farm about 20 minutes north of Stratford, along with the chickens we have a small beef herd! I attended Milverton Public School up until grade seven where I then switched to Stratford Central Secondary School for my post-secondary education. Growing up I competitively highland danced. for 13 years out of Embro, Ontario, I also participated in my local beef 4H club for a number of years. In high school, I aspired to attend school to work in the medical field. It was not until about halfway through grade twelve when I attended the open house for the University of Guelph: Ridgetown Campus, that I realized agriculture is where I wanted to be! The programs they offered and the career possibilities available that I learned about that day truly inspired me and enhanced my love for the field. I applied and was accepted into the Associate Diploma in Agriculture program for fall 2020, however, due to covid, I decided to take a year off in hopes of a more “normal” school year!

For the following year and a half or so, I worked at Stoltz Sales and Service (now Equipment Ontario) in Listowel, Ontario. Here, at the local Case IH dealer, I worked in the shipping and receiving department, along with helping in the parts department as needed. I learned all the ins and outs of agricultural equipment and implements needed throughout the year. I also spent a lot of time working in our two chicken barns during my time between high school and college! In the fall of 2021, I began my first of two years in Ridgetown. I instantly became interested in the world of field crops and weeds, with new hopes of becoming an agronomist! This past summer I worked at Brussels Agromart Ltd. where I worked as an agronomy assistant. I got to experience planting season right through to wheat harvest. I treated soybeans, soil sampled, and my personal favourite thing, scouting! I loved going out day after day to scout fields for weeds, pests, and diseases. Being out in the field on a daily basis, once again solidified that I was working in the right place!

After speaking to my mom about her experience at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in 2019, I knew this was an event I wanted to attend someday! Hearing about all of the guest speakers, experiences, and social time she had instantly peaked my interest in this event. One of my favourite parts about being in a smaller agricultural school is making connections and friendships with like-minded individuals. This event is another opportunity to meet with even more people who have a passion for agriculture. It is another opportunity to make life-long connections and friendships with others who share the same enthusiasm for agriculture as me! I am also interested in going because after working in agriculture for the past 2.5 years, I know there is so much more to learn! I have a passion for learning and expanding my knowledge and attending this conference is a perfect way to do just that!

As far as benefiting my future career objectives, I believe that this conference is the perfect place to truly explore all of the options available. Hearing from industry professionals and others who work in the field, on what exactly they do, will broaden my horizon on what career opportunities are out there! Along with this, getting to know businesses and employers is a great way to find out what jobs and career opportunities are available to me based on my passions and education. Overall, the biggest benefit I will receive towards my career objective is simply the opportunity to learn and to listen. Meeting new people and experiencing new things provide skills that will benefit me in ways different than the classroom. I think the conference would be an amazing opportunity for so many reasons both career and personal growth-wise!

Kristin Lee

University of Guelph, 2nd Year, Animal Biosciences

My experience with the livestock industry began at the University of Alberta where I completed a MSc in Animal Science, and ever since, I have taken every opportunity to immerse myself in the industry. My thesis focused on genomic selection in pigs, with the goal to identify the genetic and biological factors underlying meat and carcass quality traits. In addition to my thesis work, I had the opportunity to complete an 18-month internship (MITACS accelerate fellowship) with the pig breeding company Hypor Inc., where I explored many areas of pig production, including the farms, abattoirs, and industry offices. After I completed my MSc I had the opportunity to work collaboratively with Hypor Inc. and Animal Inframetrics. Animal Inframetrics is an Alberta-based company that works to develop and commercially implement infrared thermography (IRT) technologies as a high-throughput measure of animal phenotypes. Here we compared IRT traits to currently used measures of feed efficiency to assess whether they are suitable indicators for the genetic improvement of feed efficiency in pigs. This project furthered my experience with innovative technologies, ‘big data’, and genetic analysis. Now I am working towards my PhD at the University of Guelph. I am working on an industry collaboration, where I aim produce a genetic evaluation system that will be equipped to handle the future needs of beef cattle industry, including the ability to handle in influx of high-throughput phenotype and genotype data. Through these experiences I have recognized that I am most interested in using breeding and genetics to find practical and innovative solutions to the present-day challenges experienced by the livestock industry.

Women have always been an important part of the agriculture industry, and our participation continues increasing. However, today men are still more commonly seen dominating the high-ranking executive roles. For this reason, the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference will be crucial to my success in the agriculture industry in the future. As a woman, it is important to be able to see myself in the industry and to hear the experiences other women have had on their path to success. This includes hearing the struggles women have faced and how they overcame them, as well as providing recognition to the accomplishments and unique perspectives women have had in their fields. Further, the conference will allow me to connect and build a network of women and develop long-lasting relationships. In doing so, we can help each other succeed in the industry, such as providing the support, encouragement, and mentorship that is required to become involved in groups, events, jobs, boards, and associations, including the spaces where women are not readily seen. My career goals are not only focused on agriculture, but also science, statistics, computer programming, and technology. These are spaces where women are notoriously under-represented. The Advancing Women in Agriculture will help me to succeed in my field, as I will need a strong and supportive community of women around me, as well as the confidence in myself to face the challenge of being a successful woman in an under-represented career path.

Dilrukshi Kombala Liyanage

University of Guelph, 1st Year, PhD Environmental Science

I grew my passion for agriculture throughout my experience at the University of Wayamba, Sri Lanka, where I completed my Bachelor of science in Agriculture. I joined an animal feed production company as an executive in quality assurance after graduating because I wanted to obtain experience in the business world. After working there for almost three years, I decided to get a master’s degree to expand my knowledge and continue my academic study. I then relocated to the University of Alberta to get my master’s degree. My Master of Science thesis was on identifying drought-tolerant soybean cultivars that would help create new varieties in breeding programs that can withstand drought stress, high nitrogen fixing, and produce high yields. My continued interest in Agriculture led me to pursue a PhD in Environmental science at the University of Guelph from this fall. I’m currently working on my research proposal to study the benefits of cover crop mixtures. My research will investigate about  cover crop mixtures: evaluating complementarity in root-soil interactions and effects on greenhouse gas emissions. Being a naturally curious person, I genuinely love my work in this industry.

I’m very excited to attend the AWC because this conference is specifically catered to women in Agriculture. I hope this will be a great platform to network, share ideas and thoughts to develop ourselves and career pathways. It is exciting to think about being surrounded by other women passionate about the same things as I am. The past conference stories, highlights really inspired me to attend this great experience, I truly believe this will be a great addition to my career.

Liberty Lloyd

MacDonald College, 2nd Year, Farm Management and Technology

I was raised in the small town of sawyerville and I do not come from an agricultural background. Growing up I always had an interest in being outside and helping out in the garden, my father being raised on a beef farm taught my sister and I numerous things that he was brought up on. My first job was on a dairy farm near home, I had responsibilities to milk and feed the calves, and ever since this job I have gained so much experience and knowledge that has encouraged me to do my schooling in agriculture and be more involved in agriculture in the future. I am currently in my second year at MacDonald college in the Farm management and technology program. I have worked on several dairy farms, and have recently gained interest in beef cattle. This past summer I did an internship in Alberta, teaching me their ways of farming and giving me an experience that I never thought I would be given. The family farm that I did my internship on was very involved within their community which has pushed me to be more involved in the agriculture community at home.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because like I said I do not come from a family farm and I want to be more involved in agriculture, especially being a woman coming into agriculture. The Advancing women in agriculture conference is an event that is amazing for bringing women in agriculture together, to get to know one another and to learn more about the agriculture world as a whole and not only the working aspect but the side of communicating, networking, and growing as an individual. I hope this program will benefit me by getting to experience other people’s perspectives and be involved in the social agriculture world and meet more women like myself who are in agriculture or even coming into agriculture.

Vanessa Matten

University of Guelph, 2nd Year Masters of Environmental Science

Vanessa Matten completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University (Canada) in 2021, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. Throughout her undergraduate degree Vanessa took on summer work as a cashier and server in addition to a year-round position as an apartment building superintendent. She currently is an MSc. student in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph (Canada). Vanessa is conducting her thesis research at the Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Her research investigates swine mortality management tools in Canada, with a focus on above ground burial and ambient alkaline hydrolysis. The aim of Vanessa’s research is to test these technologies at pilot and field scale in order to assess their efficacy and feasibility in Canadian environments. Using a One Health approach, the goal of Vanessa’s research is to improve safety and health for livestock, producers, and the environment.

As someone looking to enter the professional world after completing my degree, this conference will help me better understand the opportunities available. I believe that the agriculture and food sector have many strong female voices and I would like to learn from them. Attending a conference with these successful professionals is inspiring and provides a wonderful opportunity for me to see the skills these women have. I am passionate about reducing our impact on the environment, and I know that being part of a community will help me achieve my goals. I appreciate being part of a community because asking questions, getting advice, and needing help are much easier when you know people want to support you, not tear you down.

Torii Muzyka

Lakeland College Vermilion Campus, 2nd Year Crop Technology Diploma

I come from a third-generation grain farm south of Battleford, Saskatchewan. I have been heavily involved in the agriculture industry since I was young which played a huge role in fuelling my passion for agriculture. I’ve recognized the hard work and energy put into the industry by seeing it done firsthand by relatives, neighbors, and my own family, to doing it myself. This included cleaning grain bins, fixing machinery, driving machinery once I was old enough to do so, suggesting to dad which fertilizers or chemicals would be best suitable for our farm and soil, as well as scouting fields for possible insects, weeds, or herbicide damage.

I am currently in my second year at Lakeland College in their Crop Technology program in Vermilion, Alberta. As someone who came from a smaller community, attending a more personal, and smaller campus was one of my biggest priorities with the hopes that I can achieve the same level of education without having to go to a large university with hundreds of individuals in one classroom. The Crop Technology program has helped me develop relationships as well as knowledge of the growing agriculture industry. After graduation at the end of June, I will be further continuing my education at Lethbridge College in Alberta to pursue a diploma in Agriculture Sciences and a degree in Agronomy.

As a student who has grown up in the agriculture industry as well as going to school to continue in this particular industry, I can evidently see the changes in technology, knowledge, and skills as we learn, adapt, and grow from one another, as well as develop further understanding of the soil, crops, chemicals, and fertilizers.

This summer I had the opportunity to work as a Research Summer Student at the Rack Petroleum LTD in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I spent the majority of my summer with The Rack out in the field learning about different fertility treatments, their differences, and similarities, as well as their impacts on the soil and crops. We had dozens of treatments spread out across southwest Saskatchewan which included many hours of driving with coworkers, establishing relationships with individuals at different locations, and the farmers. I was given many opportunities to go out in the fields with agronomists and learn how they see the soil, plants, and insects from their eyes. I learned something new every single day that I will continue to apply to my future and current career in the agriculture industry.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because it gives me the opportunity to talk to like-minded individuals from across the country. Being able to participate in this conference would be very empowering, seeing women who are all passionate about the same industry come together to share their opinions, lifeskills, and experiences is a great way to build relationships with companies, and farmers, as well as share my own ideas with others.

I am hoping to pursue a career in agronomy after I finish my schooling and think that this conference would give me the ability to apply knowledge and skills that I might’ve not thought about before onto my career, my studies and my everyday life.

Sophia Partyka

University of Manitoba, 5th Year, Agroecology

I entered the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in 2018. After spending two years in Agribusiness I decided to switch to Agroecology, this decision was made because I am intrigued by food sustainability and the dynamics of ecosystems. I am a systems thinker and enjoy learning about the various processes involved in producing food. I did not grow up in an agricultural setting, my interest in agriculture stems from selling rhubarb products at the St. Norbert Farms market. This small business I started sparked my interest in foods, farming and local agriculture. After entering university I aimed to enhance my knowledge by working on a small goat and horse farm and did an internship in seed logistics at Cargill. I now work for Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba and Prograin.

I would absolutely love the opportunity to attend this conference. I am very excited about the opportunity to connect with various women who work in the agriculture sector. The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference seems inspiring, empowering and educational! This program would benefit my career objective as it acts as a platform for networking and fosters growth and learning. It is always a pleasure to spend time with women who have similar objectives and goals in the agriculture sector.

McKenna Richardson

MacDonald College at McGill University, 2nd Year, Farm Management and Technology

I was born and raised on a beef farm in the small rural town of Clarendon, Quebec. I have always loved being on the farm, but I always thought it would be a small-scale hobby farm and I would have a job in medicine or law off of the farm. After graduating high school at Pontiac High School in Shawville, QC, I applied to Community and Justice Services at Algonquin College in Ottawa. I did one semester online and about a quarter of the way through I realized, NOPE, this is not for me. I want to do something in agriculture. I completed my first semester and then went on and applied to Farm Management and Technology at McGill University in Sainte- Anne- du- Bellevue, Quebec. Aside from growing up on a beef farm, this past school year and all summer, I had the opportunity to work on a dairy farm in my community. although does not interest me nearly as much as beef farming it has allowed me to develop so many important management skills.
This year I decided to join my local 4-H Club and I have partaken in many activities with my club as well as showing at different fairs over the summer. I am getting the opportunity to go to Expo Boeuf which is a big beef show in Quebec this fall to show for a friend and I am so excited about that opportunity. In August 2022 I had the opportunity to go to Penticton, British Columbia for the Canadian Beef Conference as a semi-finalist in their Cattlemen’s Young Leader Mentorship program. Although I did not place as a finalist it was to date one of the best networking experiences I have been given.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference for many reasons. The main two reasons are to network with other amazing women in the industry; build relationships and meet a group of women to share ideas with, celebrate with as well as learn from. The second reason is to get to learn many new things about the industry and the women involved in it. I feel this program will benefit my career because I will get to build connections with like-minded women, build a community and network with wonderful women. As well as I will learn pertinent things that will guide me towards success in my future endeavour of taking over and expanding the family farm with my brother. I have heard wonderful things about the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference and was told about the Student Sponsorship program so after hearing all the positive stories from this event I became super interested in the event and would be delighted to be chosen as one of the sponsored students.

Jenna Sarich

University of Saskatchewan, 3rd Year, Animal Science

My name is Jenna Sarich, I am a graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan studying animal science. I have been interested in agriculture and animals from a young age. In high school I volunteered at vet clinics, humane societies, equine boarding facilities and halter broke reindeer. Moving into my undergrad, I wanted to further my animal expertise and pursued a bachelor’s in Animal Bioscience, during the summer I worked for Fast Genetics and then Agriculture Canada under Dr. Karen Beauchemin on a metabolism study looking into the effects of a feed additive (3-NOP) on methane mitigation in beef cattle. I also had a fantastic opportunity to pursue undergraduate research in Churchill, MB, leading a study on polar bears and their use of willows as a microclimate for thermoregulation.

I am now completing my master’s work studying the effect of ergot alkaloids on the health, welfare and performance of beef cattle. During my time, I completed two research studies, one published in the Journal of Animal Science and the other covered in the Western Producer, Canadian Cattlemen Magazine, and Better Farming Prairie Magazine. I have also presented both research projects at the American Society of Animal Science – Canadian Society of Animal Science conference placing 2nd and 1st in 2021 and 2022 in the M.Sc. oral competition, respectively. Throughout my graduate experience, I discovered a passion for outreach and mentoring young students interested in science. I have had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in many undergrad classes, and work as an outreach member for our research facility, the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence.

I am looking forward to attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference as I believe representation is key. I grew up around agriculture and found it hard to find women in the field I could look to as a mentor. Throughout my university experience, I have met many impactful women including professors and peers. When I look around my classroom, I see more and more women in the science space and I want to be part of why young girls feel like they are smart enough and determined enough to pursue science and make a lasting impact in the field. Once I’ve completed my master’s I would like to pursue a Ph.D. program focusing further on animal health and one day become a professor, becoming the mentor I looked for as a young student. I want to have the ability to reach many fresh new undergraduates and make a lasting impact on their perception of animal science and the place women have in it.

Corissa Wilcox

University of Saskatchewan, 2nd Year, Animal Science

My name is Corissa Wilcox. I am originally from Medicine Hat, AB, and am involved with my family’s cow/calf operation. Growing up I was involved in 4-H and eventually, I decided to follow my passion for agriculture and take my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree with a major in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan. After I graduated in 2020, I worked in the animal agriculture industry for a year before deciding the pursue my graduate degree in animal science, focusing on beef cattle nutrition and production. I was a summer student for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and worked in the feed industry.

I am currently in my second year of studies as a graduate student. My project is focusing on alternative trace mineral supplementation strategies for beef cattle. As a graduate student, I am involved in helping assist undergrad animal science courses. This opportunity has enabled me to gain experience teaching and develop my interpersonal skills. I am involved with my department’s Graduate Student Association, where I help organize and plan student events. After my graduate studies program, my plan is to work in Australia and New Zealand on agriculture operations for six months. My long-term career goal is to work as a livestock extension specialist with the government or work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

I attended the Advancing Woman in Agriculture Conference East in 2018 and built many connections and was inspired by all the opportunities there are in the agriculture industry that I was unaware of. Attending this conference would allow me to build on my communication skills, network with other women, and teach me how I can be an advocate for the agriculture industry. As a previous attendee, the workshops boosted my confidence and my ability to communicate. I believe these are important skills to hold when finding a career in the industry. One day, I hope I can be a mentor for other young women in the agriculture industry.

Olivia Willoughby

University of Guelph, 2nd Year, Master of Science, Animal Breeding and Genetics

I grew up in Bowmanville Ontario, a suburb in the GTA about 1 hour east of Toronto. I grew up riding horses and had my dreams set on one day becoming a veterinarian. I also showed goats and sheep in my local 4-H club.

In 2017, I began an honours BSc degree at the University of Guelph in Animal Biology. After learning more about Ontario’s agri-food industries, my goals shifted as I learned about more opportunities working with livestock. Throughout my degree, I wanted to take a variety of courses, and studied animal breeding, animal health, nutrition, immunology, and welfare. I graduated from the Ontario Agriculture College in 2021 and started an MSc at the Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock the same year. Currently, I study the genetic regulation of the immune response of sheep to internal parasites, and how genetic selection for resistant animals could be useful in the future.

I have worked in a variety of agricultural positions in agri-food. I have collected data for research projects at the Ontario Agriculture College and the Ontario Veterinary College. I have also worked as a Communications Coordinator for the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. I was an intern at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Currently, I am a research assistant and a teaching assistant in the Department of Animal Biosciences at UofG.

I am eager to participate in the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in 2022. This conference is an excellent opportunity for students to engage with others in the field, and to gain insight and expertise from others. In addition to networking with other students, there will be the opportunity to establish connections with industry members that could benefit one another in the future. I am also eager to hear the presentations from the esteemed women in agriculture to learn and improve upon my own leadership and soft skills. I believe the topics discussed at AWC are important, useful, and applicable, and will help me as a future leader in agri-food.

My career objective is to improve and facilitate better communication between researchers, industry members, and the end-users. Talking to people that represent each part of the value chain at AWC will help me to reach this goal by providing me with the chance to listen to a wide variety of opinions, thoughts, and experiences. Additionally, improving my interpersonal skills and articulation abilities will benefit me in the future. I learned in 4-H that I should “learn to do by doing”, and I think AWC is a perfect place for me to do just that.