This year’s Opportunity Scholarship winners are starting their first year of post-secondary education and all look forward to having an impact on Canadian agriculture and food in the future.

Whether it’s pursuing a career as a farmer, agronomist, plant breeder, animal nutritionist, registered dietician or culinary professional, each of the 67 scholarship winners expressed a passion for the family farm and had a clear personal vision for how they would contribute to growing the future of Canadian agriculture.

As in previous years, each student is enrolled in a Canadian university or college this fall and will receive a $1,500 scholarship to help cover the costs associated with their education.

“As a company focused on advancing health and nutrition and working to shape agriculture through innovation, we are thrilled to see this impressive group of young people committed to education in agricultural and food sciences,” said Trish Jordan, public & industry affairs director with Bayer’s Crop Science Division in Canada. “I have no doubt these young people will continue to be successful and make meaningful contributions to our sector in the future for the benefit of farmers, consumers and our planet.”

Thousands of deserving students have received almost $2 million since the Canadian scholarship program was 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 Opportunity Scholarship Program.

All applications were reviewed by an independent judging panel that included: Robert Adamson, consultant and program director with Pembina Trails School Division; Danielle Maynard, strategic account manager, Bayer Canada – Crop Science Division; John Morriss, production editor for Country Guide West; Ellen Pruden, education and promotion manager for the Manitoba Canola Growers Association; Johanne Ross, executive director of Agriculture in the Classroom-Canada; and Kalynn Spain, recruitment, job placement and cooperative education coordinator with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba.

Administered by Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba for the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, the scholarship program received 140 applications from across Canada this year.

“It has been a tremendous experience for us to be involved with the Opportunity Scholarship Program,” said Sue Clayton, executive director of AITC-M. “When you read an awesome essay or a glowing reference letter it reminds you what incredible young people there are coming into our industry. The future certainly looks bright for these students and Canadian agriculture.”

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