Congratulations to our MWBGA 2019/20 bursary recipients!

Congratulations to our MWBGA 2019/20 bursary recipients!

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2019/2020 was the first year that Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA) decided to establish a bursary fund to support post-secondary students who are enrolled in an agriculture related program within Manitoba. MWBGA was pleased to award bursaries to two students who met the necessary requirements.

Rebecca McCleary

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture – Agronomy, University of Manitoba

“For as long as I can remember agriculture has always been an important part of my life. I grew up on a grain farm near Minitonas, Manitoba where I was witness to the cooperation and hard work that went into running the operation. Everybody played an important role, whether you were driving the combine, making the meals or running everyone from field to field. When I began entering the workforce, I decided to experience the horticulture side of agriculture through working at a greenhouse. I loved every minute of it and developed my knowledge of plant identification and plant care.

The idea of pursuing a career in agriculture started to enter my mind after realizing how much I loved being outdoors and working with plants. The more I talked to my dad, the more I realized there is a lot more to agriculture than I ever thought. Agriculture wasn’t just farming, it was plant genetics, soil chemistry, ecology, and so much more. Until that point, I had been undecided of what I exactly wanted to study but it then became clear, I wanted to study agronomy. I declared my major and have been enjoying learning about the science behind the farming that I saw nearly every day growing up.

Learning about agronomy has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of why farmers make the choices they make, and how everything in a field interacts to produce a viable crop. As I near graduating from my program, I’ve thought a lot about my next steps following graduation. The biggest desire that has stuck with me throughout my studies, is the desire to make a difference. With any job I have, I want to feel like what I’m doing is going to help people in some way. Whether it’s assisting in the creation of a new herbicide that will provide farmers with more options for weed control or simply offering someone my knowledge whenever they’re in need. In addition to this, I would love to be a part of a team innovating and researching to improve the future of agriculture. I want to develop my knowledge by obtaining new and relevant data from field and greenhouse trials and create ways to resolve any arising problems. Furthermore, I believe educating others on misconceptions surrounding agriculture is an important area to contribute to. Sharing my knowledge and giving factual information to consumers or those inexperienced with agriculture, will allow them to have an informed opinion and a better understanding of how food gets on their table. Agriculture is a significant part of mine and my family’s life. The endless opportunities to contribute to the development and improvements of agriculture provides me with a remarkable sense of purpose that what I’m doing is worth it.”

Russell Pauls

Agribusiness Diploma – Pesticide Dispenser/Applicator, Assiniboine Community College

“Agriculture has played an important role in shaping who I am today. I have been around agriculture my whole life, having been born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in south central Manitoba. As I got older, I became more involved in the day-to-day operation of the family farm. It did not take me long to figure out that agriculture was my passion and that I wanted to build a career in this expansive industry.

Knowing full well that agriculture was where I belonged, I applied to the Agribusiness Diploma Program at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, MB. I felt that this program would allow me to attain additional knowledge of both the agronomy and business practices common in western Canadian agriculture. I also felt that attaining a post-secondary education would boost my credibility and make myself more appealing to off-farm employers. With my future as part of the family operation uncertain, attaining a diploma seemed the best option to ensure I had a sustainable future in the field of agriculture.

I believe that I would be able to benefit the agriculture industry greatly once I have achieved my college diploma and entered the workforce. This program has helped me to see the “big picture” of Canadian agriculture and its impact on the global economy, not just the individual contribution of my parents’ operation and others like it. This program has also greatly improved my interpersonal skills. I am much more comfortable giving presentations and engaging in conversations with others than before attending this program. The agronomy courses have boosted my knowledge of common agronomic practices in Manitoba and western Canada, while the business-related courses have given me the opportunity to learn how to operate a business and successfully market commodities. A refined set of skills are extremely relevant to modern Prairie agriculture, and possessing these skills is a huge benefit to agriculture as a whole.

I am genuinely excited to be involved in the ever-evolving field of agriculture. Whether my next steps lead me in the direction of becoming a producer as part of the family operation, using my knowledge to assist other producers to reach their full potential, or continuing my education to a degree, the possibilities for involvement in this field are endless.”