OTTAWA — The Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association recently presented scholarships to four exceptional Eastern Ontario youth who are planning to pursue a career in agriculture. At the August 16th seed growers’ annual meeting, directors presented the $2,500 scholarships to recognize interest, knowledge, and achievement in the agriculture community. This is OVSGA’s sixth year of scholarship presentations, with almost $50,000 distributed to date.
Samantha Hildbrand is entering her second year of the farm management and technology program at Macdonald campus of McGill University. She grew up on the family dairy farm near St. Albert.
4-H has been a major part of Samantha’s youth. Involved for 10 years, she has completed rabbit, soil and crop, vet, poultry, financial fitness and health projects. Samantha believes “to accomplish success, all you need is some self-confidence and some great teachers,” for which she credits her family, 4-H leaders and coaches who continue to mentor her.
“The knowledge that I gain over my three years of agriculture studies will allow me to better understand and improve practices when I return to the farm,” she said.
Arden McWilliams, 19, is also entering his second year of studies in the farm management and technology program at Macdonald College.
Growing up on the family farm near Navan, cash cropping and raising Belgian Draft horses, Arden also worked on dairy farms, developing a passion for the dairy cow. Involved in Russell 4-H, Arden says “4-H has given me the opportunity to meet life-long friends who have similar interests in the agriculture industry. After completing my studies at MacDonald College, I plan on working in the dairy nutrition industry and raising Belgians on the family farm.”
Tanya Régimbald, of Sarsfield, is in her third year of the farm management and technology program at Institut de Technologie Agroalimentaire du Québec, where she is specializing in dairy production.
”Once I graduate college, I look forward to integrating into the family dairy farm,” she said. “I plan to continue training and skill development, as I love to continue to expand my knowledge and have new experiences.”
Tanya has completed 38 4-H clubs, including dairy, soil and crop, and vet, and enjoyed a recent co-op placement on a Carleton Place dairy and cash crop farm.
Haleigh-Jo TePlate, of Finch, is a graduate of the two-year business in agriculture program at Algonquin College, Perth Campus. She will be continuing her studies this fall at Olds College in Alberta as she works towards a bachelor of applied science degree in agribusiness.
Growing up on the family dairy farm and active in 4-H, Haleigh-Jo has completed 80 projects from lifeskills to dairy, beef and plowing. She is an avid traveller, sewer and crafter. Haleigh-Jo is an active Junior Farmer member, and involved with the Plowmen’s Association and the Stormont County Fair. “My dream is to have a future on the family farm and continue to contribute to the Garden Villa Seniors Residence,” she said.
Congratulations to each of these young people — the future of agriculture is in good hands!
For more information visit