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 imeck@farmmedia.com

Applicants

Ruina Bao

University of Calgary, Second Year MSc Veterinary Medicine

I am currently a Master’s student at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, studying antimicrobial peptides for the control of bovine respiratory disease.

During my undergraduate years at the University of Waterloo, I completed four co-operative work terms. I was introduced to agribusiness in Ontario when I completed a work term at the Ontario Ministry of Food and Rural Affairs in Guelph.

I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science in Science and Business—Biotechnology specialization in the spring of 2018. I worked as a research technician until June 2020 upon receiving acceptance into Dr. Dongyan Niu’s lab for graduate studies.

I am interested in hearing from industry leaders for their career advice at AWC. There are a few career sectors I am exploring. I am interested in agriculture, agribusiness and food safety. The invited speakers will highlight challenges I may not be aware of and may later encounter as a woman working in agriculture. For example, Amanda Butt’s talk will illuminate her own experience working in a male dominated industry. Further, I would like to connect with employers in agribusiness to learn about future opportunities, their recruitment process, desirable skills they are looking for in a candidate and more.”

Sponsored by:

Marrissa Buchan

University of Calgary, Master’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine

Growing up, I always loved to visit relatives who owned farms with a variety of animals including cattle, chickens, goats, sheep, and horses. At a young age I developed a passion for agriculture and livestock, which has driven my desire to work in production animal health. In May 2019 I obtained my Bachelor’s degree with a major in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge. I am currently a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. My current research primarily focuses on understanding stakeholders’ perceptions towards preconditioning strategies in the beef industry.

Once I complete my Master’s degree, I hope to attend the DVM program at the University of Lethbridge. My goal is to obtain a career as a mixed animal veterinarian with an emphasis on cattle and production animals. I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because I am passionate for production animal health and welfare and am excited to connect with other women in the agriculture industry. I am fairly new to the field of agriculture but am eager to learn and I believe this is an excellent opportunity to do so from inspirational leaders in the industry. I believe this will be extremely beneficial to further my knowledge and professional development as both a student and a women building a career in agriculture.”

Sponsored by:

Emily DePaoli

University of Alberta, MSc animal Science

“I was raised on a mixed grain and cow-calf operation in Southern Alberta and have worked with livestock and companion animals throughout my life. Personally, I want to be involved in projects that are working to improve the animal agriculture industry in relation to: the welfare of animals, the environment, and the well-being of the people working in these industries. With these goals in mind, I completed my BSc in Animal Health at the University of Alberta in 2021. Currently, I am working on my MSc in Animal Science with a focus on Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Alberta. My research focuses on the use of 3D kinematics, DEXA, infrared and genomics to evaluate perching in enriched-housed laying hens. This project is predominantly an animal behavior and welfare project but also has important physiology and genetic components. When I’m not working on my research I enjoy my role as a teaching assistant for Companion and Performance Animal Behaviour and Livestock Behaviour classes. In the past, I have also worked at a variety of veterinary practices including a 24/7 emergency veterinary hospital.

Currently, my plans after I complete my MSc degree are to pursue my PhD in Animal Behavior and Welfare. Following this, I hope to continue my work in academia and eventually become a researcher and professor. I want to be excited about what I do every day and know that what I am doing is making a difference. I want to continue to learn new things and help to discover solutions to problems within the animal agriculture industry, relating to behavior and welfare. By attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference I want to expand my network and connect with women from a variety of agriculture sectors. Learning how others reached their goals and created a path to their dream career will be instrumental in helping me to shape my own path. Agriculture is a traditionally male-dominated field and through attending this conference I hope to be inspired by the women before me who have worked to overcome barriers that are present in the industry.”

Sponsored by:

Emily Freiberg

University of Lethbridge, Bachelor of Arts – Agriculture

“I grew up on a farm in Southern Alberta, just outside of Bow Island. Last September my husband and I returned to my family’s farm, and we are beginning to transition into it. A month later we welcomed our first child into the world, a little boy. My family’s farm is mainly crop, composed of both irrigation and dryland. We produce a variety of crops including seed canola, beans, field peas, and various cereals. Additionally, we have a cow-calf herd of 80 pairs, 13 of which my husband and I own, and our son also owns 1 too! My education background includes studying abroad in Albania and Japan, where I took Biblical study courses. In April of 2021, I graduated from Lethbridge College with a diploma in Agricultural sciences. Currently I am studying at the University of Lethbridge and furthering my agriculture studies by pursuing a bachelor. My agriculture related work experience includes working on my family’s farm and being involved in various processes and practices such as calving, branding, seeding, and harvesting. For the past two summers I additionally worked at Bayer Crop Sciences in their seed canola division, in a summer student agronomist position.

I had the privilege of being awarded sponsorship to attend the AWC previously, and with the risk of sounding cliché, it genuinely helped me realize my potential. As I am the oldest of two girls, and expressed early interest in agriculture, it was expected that I would take over the family farm; and this was not an unsaid expectation, rather it was verbalized by both my father and grandparents. However, it was expressed that I “need to marry a farmer.” Admittedly, I too believed this for far too long. Only once I started dating a city-boy from Germany (who is now my husband), was it verbally expressed to me that I have the potential to take over the farm and that “girls can manage farms too.” Although my husband surprised everyone and chose farming as his career path, I too desire to be directly involved within the farm’s daily operations. Opportunities such as AWC interest me because they help boost my confidence. Meeting other women and hearing their stories helps me immensely in continuing to overcome the perspectives and beliefs I grew up with.”

Sponsored by:

Mawra Gohar

University of Calgary, First Year Ph.D Veterinary Medicine

“I did my master’s in Microbiology from the University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Pakistan. Currently, I am a Ph.D. scholar at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary. I have 7 years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate level.

I am interested to attend this conference because of my passion and work in the food as well as animal sector. This conference will enhance my understanding, knowledge, and experience regarding animal science and agriculture. It will open the doors for me to explore ways to polish my skills and find out the way to fulfill my project in an efficient way.”

Sponsored by:

Amanda Gubbels

Niagara College, Honors Bachelor of Business Administration (Human Resources)

“There is nothing I love more than driving down a country road in the spring and being able to smell the dirt as the farmers start going back to work. I have lived on a farm my whole life in Mount Brydges, Ontario, with my parents and 3 sisters. On my family farm we grow corn, beans, wheat, rye, squash, and watermelons. The idea of working hard has been instilled in me throughout my entire life, with lots of early mornings and late nights to finish whatever job needs to be completed. I am currently enrolled in my last year of my degree at Niagara College in the Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Human Resources) program. After the completion of my degree, I hope to complete the Agri Business Post Grad program at Fanshawe College and maybe one day get my Masters. I have spent most of my summer vacations working in the fields hoeing and working in the barn packing watermelons. More recently I have started helping with the business side of production. I am tasked with responsibilities of counting packed product, tracking packed product, recording where product is harvested from, assisting in hiring procedures, and creating schedules. Growing up on a farm has fueled my passion for agriculture and my exposure to the business side of agriculture has made me confident that this is what I want to do with my life.

I am interested in attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference because I have a passion to learn and a passion for agriculture. As a woman in the ag industry, I have firsthand experience of some of the barriers presented to me simply because I am a woman. I would love the opportunity to meet other women who share a passion for agriculture and hear about their barriers and how they have overcome them. I think this opportunity would benefit me because as a Human Resource student as I think it would help me to gain knowledge and it would be beneficial to hear what other industry leaders are doing. It would also provide me with the opportunity to hear new ideas that I could bring back with me and implement into my own workplace. As a future Agri Business student I think the networking opportunities would help me to build better relationships and explore future opportunities. I think this opportunity would also help me to explore what is out there too, as helpful as my college has been in seeking employment opportunities it would be even better to be able to talk to knowledgeable and passionate individuals in the field.”

Sponsored by:

Michelle Hoppins

Olds College, Bachelor of Applied Science – AgriBusiness

“My background in agriculture has been filled with unique experiences, and opportunities working for great companies and people. I grew up outside of Huxley Alberta, on a family farm over a century old. I am a 5th generation farmer on both sides of my family and have been given many opportunities to grow my experiences in agriculture over the years. I worked for an arboretum, completing basic maintenance tasks for the town gardens, running small pieces of equipment, grooming, etc. Then after traveling to the US for a year of post-secondary I came home to work on my uncle’s family farm. Spraying, seeding, hauling grain, yard maintenance, and more exposed me to the producer side of ag. I then worked for Kneehill county in a Weed inspector position. Here I built my communication skills with the public and my strengths in plant identification and management practices. Then I worked for Center Field Solutions for two summer terms, as a crop scout, and assistant consultant. Here I was given the opportunity to manage my day, but reaching out to farmers all day, riding quads to check fields, and walking fields as well, providing reports on producer spray timing, and working with key individuals in the agronomic industry. I also completed my seed crop inspection training, to be able to inspect crops for Center Field Inspections. These businesses help guide me to where I am today.

While working for the past 4 years I have been attending Olds College, where I gained a plethora of knowledge about agriculture, not only from the field perspective but also from the business aspect of agriculture. I am currently in year four, completing the AgriCommerce degree. I am about 2 and a half months from completing my degree, and I am completing that last bit of my Directed Field Study with AFSC, as a Client Service Representative. The Olds College degree program was classroom-based for the first three years, and the last term is completed through a Directed Field Study in the ag industry.

The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference is a unique learning experience, while completing my programs at Olds College it became very clear to me that women have a strong place in the industry, and that there were many fellow students who were women in the program. Joining Olds College in 2018, I didn’t anticipate the number of women that I would meet and work alongside through the years. It was exciting for me to see this side of agriculture. I love networking and learning about the different experiences people in the industry have had as they came through education, or the industry itself. I believe this women’s conference is a great opportunity to hear about personal experiences from fellow women in the industry. Another interesting part about the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference is the fact that they bring in such a variety of speakers from all areas of Canada, bringing in new perspectives, ideologies, and opinions on agriculture and its offerings. Hearing from people from different backgrounds, experiences, and values is a great learning opportunity not only as a student but as a woman.”

Sponsored by:

Christine Kilpatrick

University of Manitoba, Fourth Year Agronomy

I am proud to be from Teulon, Manitoba. Growing up I was exposed to many different forms of agricultural production. I was a 4H member, and I also spent a lot of time in the outdoors with my family. My family had a pure-bred Limousin cattle operation when I was small, and we now have a small sheep operation. We also have many other farm animals that I sneak into the barn before my parents notice. I have a love of science, the outdoors, and an interest in soils. I thought that I wanted to study environmental sciences when I got to university, but I quickly learned that I was meant to have a career in agriculture. Despite my life experience in animal agriculture, I am an agronomy student with one year of my degree left. I have not let my lack of prior experience slow me down. I have worked as a summer crop research assistant for Chinook Applied Research Association in Oyen AB, as well as for Corteva in Carman MB. I have become passionate about the work I do, the classes I take, and have embraced this path in my life. Leaving my hometown has led me to making many connections and learning many lessons about agriculture and agronomy in western Canada. I have not decided what career I may have in the future, as I feel there are so many opportunities with my agronomy degree. I look forward to contributing to this amazing industry and watching it change throughout my career, I have so much more to learn!

I want to attend the AWC conference because it could be another opportunity for me to learn more about the industry, the opportunities available to me as a young woman, and maybe narrow down what type of career I may be looking for. I want to be able to learn from others and gain experience networking, as well as be part of a community of like-minded, ambitious, and curious women that make up a strong part of the agriculture industry. One day I want to be a role model for other women aspiring to work in agriculture and this conference could play a role in my achieving this goal. I look forward to learning new skills and acquiring more knowledge about agronomy and agriculture.

Sponsored by:

Sidra Moqaddes

University of Calgary, First Year PhD Veterinary Medical Science

I spent some years of my childhood in country life where it was a custom to raise animals in house. I was engaged in raising chicken, goats and a pet dog. Moreover in my teenage, our family was keeping parrots and fish aquarium in house so living with animals or growing indoor plants is nothing strange for me. Added with this experience, my interest for biology pushed me to pursue my undergraduate degree in Microbiology followed by Masters in same field with research topic focus on drinking water quality supplied to poultry birds at commercial farms. My Alma Mater “University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan” provided me great insights about what I wanted to learn. After completing my Masters, I joined a private sector university (Lahore Garrison University) in Pakistan and continued my career as Lecturer of Microbiology from 2014 to 2021 where I also served at some volunteer positions e.g. president of blood donor society where I performed some social welfare activities. Recently, I have moved to Canada and joined University of Calgary as PhD student in Veterinary Medical Science to further extending my career ambitions. I hope this will act as a milestone and help me extending ideas by achieving a quality education.

There are a number of male students opting agriculture and veterinary sector and traveling all the way long from Pakistan or relevant countries to Canada to strengthen their skills but there is a negligible number of females that gets this privilege and permission from their families to take such a bold step. I feel myself blessed that I am born to such a family and my parents encouraged me to travels thousands of miles for seeking my passion. Attending conference will be a great opportunity to extend my career goals. I am confident that showing up advancing women in agriculture conference will be helpful to unleash more ideas about my passion for animal welfare.

Sponsored by:

Kinga Nolan

University of Saskatchewan, Fourth Year Agricultural Economics

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta in the heart of ranching country. Though I’m not from a family farm, my passion for agriculture and making effective changes in the sector runs deep. This spring, I am graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Agricultural Economics. I love agricultural policy, so my honours research project focused on consumer preferences for Product of Canada and Made in Canada food labelling policies. I enjoyed volunteering for the Canadian Center for Food Integrity, my university’s Canadian Agri-Food Marketing Association chapter, and agricultural-related events throughout my undergraduate degree. In the past, I worked for an agricultural-focused government relations firm, as a political staffer in provincial and federal politics, and in client success for Farmers Edge, an agtech company. This summer I am working in marketing for Farmers Edge and I look forward to beginning my Master of Public Policy at the University of Calgary this fall.

My love for agriculture lies in policy development and public relations to innovate and promote new ideas to improve profitability, sustainability, and efficiency in agriculture. Ultimately, my goal is to serve our country as the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. This goal is attainable through learning more about the challenges and opportunities in agriculture from many perspectives, but also by improving my skills and learning from the successes of other women in agriculture. Attending AWC will enable me to achieve all of these outcomes. I intend to meet other women leaders in agriculture who can mentor me to achieve these goals, and develop a deeper understanding of agricultural issues so I can be a better advocate for our sector in agricultural policy.

Sponsored by:

Brina Rathwell

University of Saskatchewan, Agronomy

“Hello, my name is Brina Rathwell I am originally from Ninette, MB. Growing up I participated in 4-H, Show jumped horses and basketball. In 2016 I graduated from Killarney high school with honours. I decided to pursue Agriculture because growing up one of my favourite things to do after school was walk to Rocky Mountain Equipment where my mom worked and visit with the farmers. I studied at Assiniboine Community College where I spent my first summer as a research technician at Ag Quest. After a summer doing research I decided I wanted to try something new. So in 2018 after I graduated with a Diploma in Ag Business I worked for P&H as a crop inputs student, then full time as an Elevator Hand. I worked for P&H for a year and decided crop inputs was my passion. So I went to Heritage co-op where I was an Agronomist for 2 years. On my second year as an agronomist I found myself wanting to learn more about the sciences of agronomy and to gain a deeper understanding of how things work. So I went back to school for my Degree in Agronomy. The ag industry was amazing and so supportive of me wanting to expand my knowledge. That brings me to today. I am a full time student at the university of Saskatchewan

Being apart of the ag community one of my biggest goals is to make a difference. I want to be a trusted advisor any farmer can ask for help. I hope to attend the AWAC to hear other women stories and bring that experience back to my home town and be an agvocate for younger woman in my area. Whether its people I work with, kids I go to school with or people I meet at other conferences id like to share this experience with them. The Ag industry is a close knit community that I love to be apart of and would love for other young women to experience.”

Sponsored by:

Cecilia Lucio Rodriguez

University of Calgary, Master of Science Veterinary Medical Sciences

“I graduated with a bachelor’s in Agronomy Engineering in Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. After graduating I worked with dairy cattle for four years. First, I worked as a trial coordinator for private practice and then as a sales representative for Zoetis Mexico. I am currently undertaking a Master’s in veterinary medical sciences and my thesis is related with calving assistance in beef cattle.

This conference is a great opportunity for networking with women who can share their knowledge and some of the challenges they have faced in the industry, to help me enrich my personal development. For the last few months, I have been working on a cow-calf operation in Alberta for my master’s thesis. Before starting my master’s here in Alberta, I previously worked in the industry in Mexico for Zoetis. Having to move to Canada, I hope that I can continue my career decided here, applying my newfound knowledge and expertise. At the conference, I hope to engage with women in the industry to get a better sense of what skills employers are most in need of. I am also excited about the workshops as I believe that they can teach me new skills and ideas that I can carry forward into my career.”

Sponsored by:

Lianne Rouire

University of Manitoba, Agronomy

“I grew up in the small town of St.Claude, Manitoba for most of my life. In 2016 we relocated to a grain farm north of Treherne, Manitoba where I got hands on experience in growing crops. My family also owns an agricultural retail called R-Way AG LTD, that covers all the bases needed for growing crops such as seed, chemical and fertilizer. This is where I was first introduced to Agriculture and where I worked throughout the busy seasons helping with fertilizer blending. When I graduated high school in 2018, I remember specifically telling my family that I would not be going to university for agriculture, however i would be getting a degree in social work. Fast forward to the first year of university, I realized that social work wasn’t for me and that I kept thinking “what if i should have gone into agriculture”. I never believed my peers when they told me “You will change your mind on what you want to do in university a million times”. I decided to do a few agriculture courses in my second semester of U1 to decide if that was what I was really interested in, which turns out I was very intrigued by agriculture. That summer I applied to be a research summer student for a PhD student with the U of M Research Farm, where I collected data and samples in the field. I applied into the Diploma of Agriculture program at the University of Manitoba in 2019 specializing in crop production, I graduated with my diploma in May of 2021! After graduating from the diploma program, I applied for the Degree in Agriculture and Food Sciences Agronomy program back at the U of M where i am currently in my first year! Since 2020, I have been working as a summer intern for Maizex Seeds LTD where I aid in research and also with sales.

Attending this conference would be an amazing opportunity for me as I have become to love agriculture and the many variations and diversifications that this industry has to offer. I want to learn from the many women who have become accepted and successful in all areas of agriculture. I believe that this would be one of the best opportunities to help start my own path in becoming one of agriculture’s female leaders so that I can make a difference in agriculture!

I am extremely grateful to be sponsored by the Agriculture Mentorship Program through the Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba!”

Sponsored by:

Vineesha Seru

University of Calgary, Second Year Veterinary Science

“I’m a Veterinarian with Masters in Veterinary Public Health. I’m currently pursing my masters at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary. My research focuses on understanding unique virulence traits of a swine pathogen named Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae that caused widespread mortalities in muskoxen.

As an undergraduate student, I have attended deworming, vaccination, and infertility campaigns for cattle and buffaloes. I realised that women are more involved in dairy farms adding value to the milk production but in unorganized sector. My goal is to collaborate with national and international organizations to set up cost effective, innovative farm equipment that will improve production as well as farming practices of unorganized farms. As a researcher, my main area of focus is to develop point of care diagnostic tests for easy detection of pathogens and vaccines against infectious agents affecting farm animals and dairy farmers.

I hope I will extend my knowledge in the field of agriculture by attending this conference. Through this conference, I’m looking for industrial collaborations in the near future. As an international student, I hope this platform will provide me with the information that will enhance my skills to work in the field of agriculture.”

Sponsored by:

Selina Spence

University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Science with Honours in Microbiology

“I am passionate about microbes and how they can be used for a variety of applications in a variety of fields—one of those fields being agriculture! This spring, I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. I will be starting my graduate studies at UBCO, pursuing a Master’s of Science. My studies have focused on a commonly used commercial biofertilizer composed of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and the potential invasive properties of these fungi. Although biofertilizers are more sustainable than chemical fertilizers, the introduction of exotic microbes into a novel environment could lead to microbial invasions, posing a great risk to natural ecosystem function. This research will hopefully provide more insight towards the safety of these biofertilizers to the environment. Although my experience has been in a lab and greenhouse instead of out on a farm, my research is important for ensuring that biofertilizers that are applied to crops are actually enhancing crop productivity, while posing little risk to the natural environment.

Although they are invisible, microbes play a large role in the success of agriculture, whether that be through enhancing plant growth, to fending off pathogens, or causing plant diseases themselves. As an aspiring microbiologist, I would love to research more ways that microbes can be used to enhance crop productivity and agricultural sustainability. I feel the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference is a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of what my future potential career could look like as a woman working in agriculture, while providing some essential life skills, and the ability to meet with many different women in the field. I feel that through networking with other students and women in this field, I would discover various opportunities that I never knew existed and would learn ways that women have become successful in this field. This would essentially help me to determine my options for career paths in this field. Not only would this conference give me the chance to learn many new skills, it would also help me improve my confidence in communicating with other women in the field. I am grateful that there are opportunities like this conference to help women excel in this field and I am thankful for this opportunity to apply for sponsorship.”

Sponsored by:

Heidi Tymko

University of Saskachewan, MSc in Agricultural Economics

“I grew up on a Purebred Angus Cow-Calf operation in the county of St. Paul, where my passion for agriculture and Cattle developed. Through programs such as 4-H and the Canadian Angus Association, I decided to pursue a degree in agriculture. I chose the Honours Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program majoring in Anticultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. During my summers as an undergraduate student, I was part of the Federated Co-op Ag in Excellence program, spending my summers familiarizing myself with agronomy work. After finishing my degree, I worked for CanFax as a summer intern for the Canadian Cow-Calf cost of production Network. Through this experience, I developed my thesis master’s project topic, culling strategies for the optimal beef cow herds’ financial health. I am currently a first-year MSc student at the University of Saskatchewan. After completing my MSc degree, I plan to pursue a career as a Beef Economist.

After my MSc degree, I plan to continue to be involved with academia through research. By attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, I hope to establish connections, learn from other women’s career paths, and learn about opportunities within the Canadian Agricultural industry. I look forward to meeting women with similar passions and goals in the diverse agricultural sector. The agriculture sector is well connected as we often know one another or export in a specific field; I believe this experience will aid in setting me up for a successful future career in the competitive and well-networked industry.”

Sponsored by:

Emma Van Steekelenburg

University of Saskachewan, Animal Science

“I grew up on my family’s dairy farm, Quintus Dairy, in Brooks, AB. In December 2021, I completed my Animal Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in June 2022. Currently, I am working full-time on my family’s dairy farm, Quintus Dairy, where I focus on calf care and herd health management. I own and care for a flock of sheep and raise lambs for market. I also assist with fieldwork, including seeding, baling hay, and harvesting. I am also a member of Class 12 of the Holstein Foundation Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI). YDLI is a year-long young leader program focusing on developing personal and professional skills and goals, including teamwork, industry advocacy, team culture, and community involvement.
I was in 4-H for eight years with dairy and market lamb projects. I am still involved with 4-H in my area. I have judged sheep and hog showmanship at District Achievement Days in Brooks, Bow Island, and Medicine Hat, and recently judged presentations at the Newell 4-H District Public Speaking Competition. I also help with judging and showmanship workshops.

I was previously awarded sponsorship for the Advancing in Women in Agriculture Conference in 2020 but wasn’t able to attend in person due to COVID. Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would help me network with other like-minded women in the agriculture industry. I want to learn from other women who reached their goals and became successful in their respective fields. Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference will give me the knowledge and tools to be a leader in the agriculture industry and in my community.”

Sponsored by:

Jamie Wiebe

Olds College, Agriculture Management – Agricommerce

“I grew up on a beef and grain farm in SE Manitoba. Besides working on my parents’ farm, I worked for 5 years in the office at Steve’s Livestock Transport. I owned and operated my own business for 20 years and although it was not agriculture-related, I will always be able to use that experience of the business side of things in the agriculture industry.

I am currently taking the Agriculture Management – Agri commerce program with Olds College. I am contemplating finishing the degree in Applied Science here as well.

I would love to be connected to women in the agriculture industry. Growing up I witnessed my mom feeling somewhat alone in the farm industry as there were not a lot of other women in our area that worked on the family farms. I see the value in connecting and sharing our experiences to help those in the industry or those who are wanting to enter it.

Additionally, I would love to be a speaker with AWC one day. I want to be able to give back and be a part of something that I see so much value in.
Attending this conference will assist me to network with like-minded women in agriculture, be able to learn from their experiences, see new opportunities, and network with others in the industry.”

Sponsored by:

Claire Williams

Univeristy of Saskatchewan, Second Year MSc. in Agricultural and Resource Economics

Growing up on Vancouver Island without a farming background meant that my introduction to agriculture started with a learning curve. In 2014, I moved to Saskatoon to study animal science at the University of Saskatchewan. For the first couple years of my education, I moved back home for the summer, where I was employed at a feed store and as a farmhand at a thoroughbred operation. Besides developing an infatuation for the racing industry and the in-field experience I craved, I really discovered that sustainability – specifically, livestock sustainability – is a complex, multi-dimensional, and dynamic goal that doesn’t have a single solution. Therefore, when I returned to school in the fall, I had a larger pool of interests. After talking to some professors and advisors, I decided to complete an agricultural economics degree, as well.

In an effort to get as much as I could from my professors, I got a job as a research student in the department, which presented the opportunity to learn how economic research is conducted and associated papers are published; as a result, my name is included on three papers investigating Canadian consumer perceptions of biosecurity. This path also pushed me into the academic route of agriculture, allowing me to proudly declare myself a masters candidate, now going into my final few months of study. I feel so privileged to be able to participate in classwork/research/discussion that involves my two career passions: livestock and economics.

I, much like most people in the industry, know that women are integral to the future success of agriculture; I am lucky to have such a strong network of such women in my life succeeding and excelling in the industry. And I know that the social component of events such as the AWC only strengthens that network so that we can progress the future of agriculture as a fully-functioning team.

I don’t have a specific career goal (as terrifying as that is to say aloud), I just know that I love this industry. More importantly, I am always excited to learn, and I know one of the best ways to do that is to immerse yourself in a diverse pool of opinions. Beyond opinions, I am looking forward to hearing about how narrow my view of agriculture is – because I know I don’t know enough. I’m hoping that the AWC allows me to figure out where my spot in the agriculture industry is, and I’m hoping by attending I can combat some of those initial networking barriers to soak in everything everyone has to share.

Sponsored by:

Brooklyn Wong

Univeristy of Saskatchewan, Second Year Masters Candidate, Agriculture Economics

I am 24 years old currently living in Calgary, Alberta. I grew up on a mixed grain and cattle ranch just north of Beechy, Saskatchewan. There we also have a quarter horse breeding and training operation and I have been competing in reining since I was young. My passion for agriculture started when I was young and inspired me to take my education at the University of Saskatchewan in Agribusiness. Throughout my degree, I spent my summer jobs at home on the farm, in southeastern Saskatchewan with Monsanto Bio Ag and in Red Deer Alberta with Farm Credit Canada. These summer positions gave me a well-rounded insight into the industry and sparked an interest in pursuing a master’s degree to have more knowledge to pursue a career in the finance/analyst side of the agriculture industry. I started my master’s degree in the fall of 2020 and am currently working on my thesis focused on the value of record-keeping in the decision-making process on cow-calf ranches in Canada. I also currently do contract work for Canada Beef / Canfax writing the monthly Beef Trade Report and assisting with the spreadsheet work for the domestic retail report.

I think the AWC is the perfect place to be inspired by other women who have chased their career dreams in many different directions. My summer jobs the past few years have opened my eyes to the vast possibilities within the agriculture industry and many of those positions have been held by women who have inspired me to not set limits on myself. As I near the end of my graduate studies I believe this conference will give me connections and possible directions to elevate my career. I look forward to hearing women speak from many different industries, not just agriculture, about what they did to advance themselves in their careers and find what they are passionate about.

Sponsored by:

Farzana Yasmin

University of Guelph, Second Year MSc in Environmental Sciences

“I have 6+ years of professional experience working in Research in the Environmental and Chemical Analysis Laboratory. I am capable of analyzing any soil, environmental and food samples independently and learned several modern analytical technologies. Experienced as an individual learner, yet a team player, I have consolidated my knowledge, skills, and troubleshooting abilities in analytics, while simultaneously contributing proactively to an organization’ productivity and technological advancement.

I am doing my master’s in Environmental Sciences (in progress) at University of Guelph, Canada. I am on my 4th semester of the study and working on the cover crops and tillage to identify their impact on the subsequent grain corn. This is my second master’s. Previously I have completed my undergrad and graduate in Dept. of Soil, Water and Environment at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. After finishing my study in Bangladesh, I joined in the same university as a Research Fellow and later joined as a Scientist. For gaining further knowledge I wanted to receive higher degrees and get admitted to University of Guelph for this purpose. In University of Guelph along with my research I am working as Graduate Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Laura Van Eerd and worked as Graduate Teaching Assistant for Fall 2021 semester.

As I am involved in the research career for a long time and currently studying in this agricultural field, I believe this conference will help me to grow my networking through meeting other women working on the same area. Listening to the adventurous journey of the successful personnel in the field will definitely inspire me to plan my own career. This conference will be a great opportunity for me to unveil the new windows of the agricultural field across Canada.”

Sponsored by:

Lexie Young

University of Saskatchewan, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, Agronomy

“I come from a mixed grain and cattle operation in Southern Saskatchewan. I have worked the past 3 summers with Bayer Crop Science in Sales and Seed Growth Development. I am currently working part time for Climate Field View while attending my last year of university.

I think the women in agriculture who push boundaries and stand out are amazing. As a woman I want to learn as much as I can about the agriculture industry before being a part of it full time. I want to learn how other woman run their businesses, how they started there career and how they’ve grown since then, what did taking over the family farm as a woman look like. Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference would help me grow not only as a woman in agriculture but as a woman starting her career and life in general. Meeting inspiring women inspires other women to be them true selves and to not be ashamed of what it means to be a woman.”

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