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!

Are you a student that would like to apply for Sponsorship?

We have moved our Student Application online for your convenience. Click here to apply now!

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


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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

Abiola Oladotun

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta & PhD Research Bench Work at the University of Montreal

I am Oladotun Abiola from Nigeria. I studied Microbiology and I am currently doing my PhD research bench work at the University of Montreal here in Canada. My research work is on human, animal and the environment. I used to work as a Quality Control officer in a Laboratory, which is affiliated, with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Currently, I work as a faculty member with the University of Agriculture in Nigeria.

I have tried attending the conference sometimes ago but due to distance and the cost of flight involved, I have not been able to attend. Currently, I am in Canada and I think now is the best time to attend. In addition, I am interested in the conference because I am a faculty at the University of Agriculture in Nigeria and an early career scientist. My attendance at the program will help me network with professionals in the field of Agriculture who can help me in the advancement of my career. I also hope to learn new inventions in the field of Agriculture that can be transferred to my students in Nigeria.

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.