WEST 2018

Ag students and sponsors come together at AWC!

Two things make the AWC Student program successful:

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

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

Students, as you prepare to cross the threshold into the working world, join us and get a head start in honing your leadership skills and building your network!

Would you like to sponsor a student to attend AWC?

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

Complete Sponsor Application Form

Call us at 403-686-8407 or email

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applicants + Sponsors

Bri Carkner:

“I am a young woman that is passionate about agriculture, I would love the opportunity to connect with and network with other women in the industry. I am nearing the end of my education and will be graduating in May and am hoping to learn from the successful women in the industry. I hope this will give me a better understanding on how to begin to find a career in agriculture and also to hear of any possible career opportunities.”
-Bri Carkner, B.Sc. Agriculture, Animal Science, Dalhousie University

Samantha Christie:

“By attending this conference, I know I will have the opportunity to network, learn from other’s experiences and gain confidence as a woman in agriculture. Forming relationships and being inspired by new mentors will provide me with a foundation to build on as I enter a career in agriculture. I believe these are all an integral part of succeeding in this field. I am incredibly interested in participating in this conference because I am a firm believer of women in ag. Conferences like Advancing Women in Agriculture are a turning point to break the barrier and seeing more women entering agriculture motivates me to join the movement.”
-Samantha Christie, B.Sc. Agriculture, Animal Science, University of Saskatchewan

Kara Doerksen:

“I think attending the AWC will be a great opportunity for me to hear the stories, struggles, and successes of women in agriculture. It will be a great way to network with passionate people in the agriculture industry from fellow farmers to potential employers. I hope to hear inspiring speakers explore the current issues in the industry as well as the importance of balancing physical and mental health with family and work. My career goal is to become an agronomist and work either independently or with an agribusiness to help farmers make informed decisions about crop production. I know the stories and connections presented at the conference will be beneficial to my future career.”
-Kara Doerksen, B.Sc. Agriculture, Crop Science, University of Alberta

Lindsey Doerksen:

“As a woman pursuing agriculture as a career, it is important to keep updated with what is happening in the industry and connecting with influential women in agriculture who are making a difference and making their voices heard. The AWC offers many workshops and talks on how I can become actively involved in where agriculture is going, the steps and roles I can perform for my career to take off and how to stay mentally/physically healthy. AWC provides the opportunity to hear inspirational speakers and become informed on present issues. The information I learn will be helpful in my classes, invite different perspectives and welcome engaging conversations with other students.”
-Lindsey Doerksen, B.Sc. Agriculture, Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Alberta

Jaclyn Esak:

“I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference to have the opportunity to hear advice and experiences from speakers who have taken different career paths within the agriculture industry. With my Agriculture Business Management degree, I don’t have a specific career I want to pursue, but rather would like to explore the future options my schooling can provide. I feel that this experience will open my mind to the many opportunities and career options my schooling sets me up for. I hope to leave the conference with an increased passion, drive for success, and increased knowledge of the agriculture industry.”
-Jaclyn Esak, B.Sc. Agriculture, Agricultural Business Management, University of Alberta

Patricia Fawley:

“I am interested in attending as I attended the AWC east in Niagara Falls this year and completely enjoyed it. I got to talk to so many experienced women who are working on or have already achieved the goals that I am pursuing. The speakers connected so much with the audience and it was phenomenal to listen and hear the stories and listen to the advice they have to share. These experiences can not only benefit my future career but who I am as a person.”
-Patricia Fawley, B.Sc. Agriculture, Animal Science, University of Manitoba

Julie Fisher:

“At the tail end of my undergraduate studies and looking forward to what’s ahead, I feel my best opportunities of advancing my career in agriculture stem from connecting with others who have more experience in the industry and experience in general. My main objective right now is to put all of what I’m learning in university into practice by spending time on farms, and with farmers and other knowledgeable individuals to gain the knowledge and skills I would need to successfully start or continue an operation which produces food in an environmentally responsible and economically viable manner. I did not grow up on a farm and feel my growing up years really lacked proper education surrounding how food is produced to meet the demands of the average urban consumer – it has been on my heart and mind to find effective ways to deliver this information to the general public, but I suppose I feel somewhat of a responsibility to properly educate myself first. This conference would connect me with women who have a wide array of experience in agriculture and who I’m sure have many ideas surrounding consumer education. I could really use a mentor to help me navigate establishing a farm enterprise and I have no doubt I would find one here. In summary, attending this conference would provide ample opportunity to meet and learn from like-minded women and help me understand the needs of the industry that I might step in to fill once I graduate, and would set me up for success (contingent on what I do with what I learn).”
-Julie Fisher, B.Sc. Agriculture, Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Alberta

Melissa Hirsekorn:

“I would like to attend this conference because agriculture is a huge passion of mine and I would like to have a career in this field. Optimally I would like to help take over my family farm, however I know there are many challenges to this – especially for a woman. I feel this conference can give me information on dealing with these challenges or ones I may face having a career in an agriculture company. This conference could also allow me a chance to network with other women and hear about their experiences in agriculture.”
-Melissa Hirsekorn, B.Sc., Nutrition and Food Science, University of Alberta

Esther Ijiwade:

“My goal is to become a great meat scientist to be able to work as a researcher in meat science laboratory and as a meat scientist in the meat industry where I can work to provide the best quality meat products to consumers by applying my technical and professional skills. I am certain that attending Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference will be an opportunity to meet leading women who are accomplishing great things in their fields. I am looking forward to inspiration from purposeful mentors whose talks, and perhaps network, will help to enhance my career goals of being a great woman in agriculture.”
-Esther Ijiwade, MSc. Agriculture, Animal Science, University of Alberta

Cassidy Kirsch:

“I believe that the agricultural industry is going to rely on the female population more than ever as we continue to feed a growing population. Growing up in Calgary, I did not receive the hands on skills that the industry relies on. I believe that attending the Advancing Women Conference will provide myself with mentors in the industry who understand how to make goals and work in agriculture.”
-Cassidy Kirsch, Agricultural Management Diploma – Production, Olds College

Kaitlyn Kitzan:

“I am a young passionate woman in the agriculture industry. I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference to network with other women in the industry, expand my network, and meet mentors. I believe that attending the conference will help me gain confidence to be a leader in the agriculture industry and provide opportunities for my future agriculture aspirations.”
-Kaitlyn Kitzan, B.Sc. Agriculture, Agribusiness, University of Saskatchewan

Sarah Kromm:

“I am eager and excited to gain a female perspective and knowledge from other women who currently operate in the industry I wish to transition to. I feel that with the opportunity to listen to and network with people who have careers in an industry I am interested in, I will gain immense experience and opportunities to become an active member of this community and industry.”
-Sarah Kromm, Diploma in Organic Land Care, Royal Roads University

Brooklyn McDonald:

“I am very interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference as I have a great interest in agriculture and the industry, and am wanting to learn new skills to be successful. I believe there is no better way to learn this than through the women themselves that have proven to be successful in the industry. Leadership, networking, independence, goal setting, and mental health are a few of the major areas that spark my interest, and I’d love to hear new tips and tools to help create better balance in my life. These are the major things that keep me driven and passionate about my veterinary technician position and any future careers that I will get to experience.”
-Brooklyn McDonald, Animal Health Technology, Olds College

Morgan McNeil:

“I am very interested, and would be honoured to attend this conference because I thoroughly enjoy networking, discussion and collaboration. I would love to have the opportunity to visit the west side of Canada, to learn from and with other women all about this amazing industry I am extremely passionate about for the future. It would benefit my career objectives by helping me get connected with other inspiring minds in a friendly, positive and welcoming environment to further my perspectives, knowledge and skills for success, goals and dreams of working with soils and plant health for sustainable environmental practices. Attending the conference in person would be so much more beneficial than just hearing about other women’s experiences from attending it themselves. I expect that there will be challenges, but also huge areas for growth for agriculture, so I’d really like to learn valuable information from it.”
-Morgan McNeil, M.Sc. Agriculture, Soil Science, Dalhousie University

Sara Meidlinger:

“This conference would provide me with an outstanding opportunity to network with future employers, and allow me to meet hundreds of women in the industry and hear about their challenges and successes. My ultimate career would be working as an agronomist for a leading agribusiness and attending this conference would help me further develop my leadership and life skills: skills I will require to be a successful agronomist. As someone just entering the work force full-time, I would be grateful to learn from, and be inspired by the women attending and speaking at this conference. It is an important time for the agriculture industry, but more importantly I think it’s a historic time for women in the agriculture industry, and agriculture in western Canada. I am extremely passionate about the agriculture industry and I can’t imagine how empowering it would be to be surrounded by hundreds of other women that share the same passion.”
-Sara Meidlinger, Associate Diploma in Agriculture, Crop Production, University of Guelph

Ainsley Moore:

“I want to develop myself as a professional and progress in my field of interest and I believe the Advancing Women Conference is a valuable resource for this. Hearing from inspiring speakers and connecting with and learning from experienced women in the agricultural industry would be greatly beneficial for me as I embark on an exciting career path out of my undergraduate degree this spring.”
-Ainsley Moore, B.Sc. Agriculture, Animal Biology, University of Guelph

Kelly Muzyka:

“I feel that in the agriculture industry the most important and useful knowledge is gained by connecting with others in the industry. I am interested in attending the AWC conference in order to gain expertise in many different fields from experienced people and make connections with other people in the industry. By hearing the experiences and career paths others have taken, it may help open my eyes and guide me to alter my career path to include different aspects I may not have previously considered. As a crop science major, I am interested in pursuing a career in agronomy. My dream is to one day be able to farm full time, but I feel its important for me to work in the industry to gain knowledge hands on and from others. Having the opportunity to establish new contacts with powerful and established women in agriculture at the AWC will be a huge benefit not only to my life in the industry but also my fresh career.”
-Kelly Muzyka, B.Sc. Agriculture, Crop Science, University of Alberta

Boma N-chris:

“As a final year agronomy student, I am looking forward to hearing directly from women like me who have thrived in their agriculture career. I look forward to a new kind of inspiration and also a clearer and more in depth knowledge of the various career paths in agriculture as well as a clearer vision of how to get to “the top and make a difference”.
-Boma N-chris, B.Sc. Agriculture, Agronomy, University of Manitoba

Madelena Pedersen-Macnab:

“I am thrilled at the prospect of meeting successful female professionals in the agriculture industry. I think the conference will be an incredible opportunity to seek advice and mentorship, explore career opportunities for my future, share my opinions and insight, and to be inspired by the individuals and professionals working in the field. I believe the conference will be incredibly empowering, with many opportunities to network and explore my options for work and research upon graduation.”
-Madelena Pedersen-Macnab, B.Sc. Agriculture, Animal Science, University of Alberta

Jamie Schwark:

“I love the empowerment that comes with this conference. Women have a unique and new perspective on the agriculture industry. There is so much we bring to the table. I am always looking for ways to advance my education and better myself personally. This is a conference that looks to do both, and I would be honoured to be able to be a part of it!”
-Jamie Schwark, Agriculture Business, Lakeland College

Janelle Smith:

“I know that networking is essential to any career and this conference offers an opportunity to network with closely matched individuals – women with a passion for agriculture! While diversity in industry is important, I am drawn to this conference to be especially inspired and taught by successful women. There will be targeted learning opportunities and being surrounded by empowered, positive women will help me to make connections for my future career. I aspire to have a career in beef cattle nutrition and extension and the speakers and networking opportunities at AWC 2018 will provide me with direction, inspiration and expanded opportunities.”
-Janelle Smith, M.Sc. Agriculture, Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan

Faith Stewart:

“Women are leaders in today’s society.  I would be honored to attend the Advancing Women in Agriculture and have the opportunity to be stimulated by influential women— making a difference within agriculture and the communities around them. Leadership is assessed in two dimensions: performance and potential. I have been told that I am a natural leader, but, I did not fully understand the significance of that compliment. Leadership, to me, is more than a way of thinking, acting, or communicating – it is a way of being. If I am able to attend this conference I believe that I will be inspired, as a potential female lawyer, how I could make a difference for the community of women around me as well as in Canada.”
-Faith Stewart, B.Sc. Agriculture, Agribusiness, University of Saskatchewan

Nabilla Usman:

“I am highly interested in attending the conference because it will be a great opportunity to be surrounded by and to connect with other women in my chosen career field, who share the same passion as I do. Being someone who is passionate about global issues, I stumbled upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and I thought of ways to contribute to attaining the second goal of “zero hunger” and I believe that by my attending the conference I will be able to learn and network with these women.”
-Nabilla Usman, B.Sc. Agriculture, Agribusiness, University of Manitoba

Sasha van der Klein:

“My current degree aims at a career in research, but I have never truly seen myself as an academic. My career objective aims at a leadership role in the agricultural industry, where I can apply my skills, knowledge, and creativity to help the industry move forward. Attending the Advancing Women Conference would be a valuable boost for my network in the agricultural industry in Canada. It would also be a great opportunity to enhance my skills in leadership and ag-vocacy by learning and sharing with other women in the industry.”
-Sasha van der Klein, PhD, Animal Sciences, University of Alberta

Nichole van Dyk:

“The primary reason that I am interested in attending the Advancing Women Conference is because of the knowledge base and interesting topics I will be exposed to from the diverse group of presenters at the conference. I feel that listening to their challenges and success stories will be inspiring. During the conference there will be network opportunities with like-minded individuals and opportunities to share resources and information. Today with social media and technology the connections established can continue into the future through various blogs and group messaging. I am expecting to be exposed to marketing, financial information and techniques that will be directly beneficial to me when I return home to contribute to and support my family’s businesses.”
-Nichole van Dyk, B.Sc. Agriculture, Agricultural Business, Dalhousie University