Sawyer Vanden Bosch: 20, Chesterville, Ont.
Background: Cash crop farm and grain elevator
College highlight: “Academically, my favourite part was probably my poultry production class. It was nice going around and seeing all the poultry farms.”
Future plans: “I kind of got into chickens a little before I went away. I plan on getting into it on a little bit larger scale. Possibly into ducks. I like them a lot more. Also, work on the farm, work with my dad, hopefully expand. Do this for the rest of my life.”
Jacob Beehler: 19, Crysler, Ont.
Background: 300-milking cow dairy farm
College highlight: “Making new friends and visiting different farms to get a different perspective on how to farm, because it’s completely different down there compared to here.”
Future plans: To run the family farm with his brother and father, with the two siblings taking over within five years.
Valedictorian Kelsey Owen: 23, Port Perry, Ont.
Background: Doesn’t come from a farm, but both father and grandfather were dairy farmhands
College highlight: “Meeting so many different people involved in agriculture. I really liked learning about every different type of livestock, crop farming. Everyone had a story to tell from their farming.”
Future plans: To buy boyfriend Trenton Cooper’s grandparents’ 100-acre farm and add turkeys and a cow-calf operation.
Alex McLaughlin: 19, North Gower, Ont.
Background: Beef farm
College highlight: The OAC games (sporting competition that includes hockey, basketball, broomball, curling, floor hockey, volleyball) between Ridgetown and the University of Guelph
Future plans: To join a harvest crew, combining across the U.S. this year and winding up in Alberta at the end of harvest. Future goal to own a custom ag company, spreading manure and doing corn silage and haylage.
Morgan McNulty: 21, Renfrew, Ont.
Background: No farming background but graduated in environmental management program in 2017. She worked for McGregor’s Produce in Renfrew, piquing her interest in farming.
College highlight: Last summer, a group of Ridgetown students went on a United States agricultural tour and toured 14 different farms, opening her eyes to what’s out there.
Future plans: Attend Olds College in Alberta in the fall to earn an agricultural business degree and one day work in agricultural business or with OMAFRA.
David Prinzen: 21, Picton, Ont.
Background: Dairy farm milking 62 head
College highlight: Making lifelong friends and learning about different areas of agriculture than he grew up with. Farm tours with his classmates, and everything that happened in residence.
Future plans: Get into the Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s New Entrant Program within two years, rent a neighour’s barn, milk 36 kilos with backup from dad’s equity for 10 years, then hopefully find a dairy farm for sale and move locations and expand.
Zachary McBride: 19, Port Hope, Ont.
Background: Beef and cash crop farm
College highlight: Watching the showing at the Spring Expo first and second year.
Future plans: Work the family farm until his father is ready to retire, then take it over.
Tanner Bromley: 19, Westmeath, Ont.
Background: Jersey dairy farm milking 52 head.
College highlight: Meeting people he wouldn’t have at Kemptville, and the ready access to shows like the Ancaster Spring Show.
Future plans: Take over the family farm, expand it someday, stick with Jerseys.