New crop of students granted Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarships
By Monsanto Canada Inc.
With four available jobs for every agriculture graduate today there has never been a better time for students from both rural and urban locations across the country to consider an education in agriculture or an agriculture/food-related field.
That's just the path 65 students who have earned $1,500 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarships are starting down as they enter their first year of agriculture or food-related studies at Canadian universities and colleges this fall. Unique to the winners' list this year is a student who grew up on an Alpaca farm in the Yukon.
Traditionally the Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Program required applicants to be from a farm and entering agriculture or an agricultural-related field of study. In honour of the program's 25th anniversary last year, and the recognition of the close connection between farming and food, eligibility for the Opportunity Scholarship Program was extended to students pursuing studies in food-related fields of study, regardless of whether they grew up on a farm or not.
"Our program has always been about supporting young people in their pursuit of a diploma or degree in agriculture because we need the very best to consider agriculture as a career path so our industry can continue to grow and prosper," said Trish Jordan, director of public and industry affairs with Monsanto Canada. "Our decision to open up the program to students interested in a food-related career was driven by a desire to close the gap between farming and food. It also acknowledges that agriculture truly is all about food."
Thousands of deserving Canadian students have received a total of more than $1.9 million since the scholarship program launched using corporate funds in 1991. Transition to the Monsanto Fund in 2012 has enabled more students to win scholarships due to consistent funding for the program.
All applications were reviewed by an independent judging panel comprised of: Robert Adamson, consultant and program director with Pembina Trails School Division; Johanne Ross, Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom-Canada.; JoAnne Buth, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian International Grains Institute; Crystal Jorgenson, Communications Specialist with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba; Ellen Pruden, Education and Promotion Manager for the Manitoba Canola Growers Association; and Brigitte Burgoyne, Communications Manager, Richardson International.
Administered on behalf of the Monsanto Fund by Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba Inc. (AITC-M), the scholarship program received 156 applications from across Canada this year.