PETROLIA — The Lambton Federation of Agriculture has revealed its scholarship winners for the 2020/2021 school year. Eight post-secondary students collected their awards in virtual ceremony last month.
There are two recipients of a special Warden’s scholarship established on behalf of Lambton County Council. Funds raised at a 2019 Council golf tournament were directed by the County’s then-Warden Bill Weber to the Federation for two $2,000 scholarships aimed at graduate students registered in a masters or doctorate program in the area of agriculture or a related discipline.
The first was presented in January 2021 at the Federation’s annual meeting to Nathan Wilson, who was raised near Wyoming and is studying towards his PhD at Lakehead University in the Environmental Biotechnology program.
The second went to Hannah Symington. The Watford-area resident recently graduated from the University of Guelph and this fall is enrolled in the Masters program in Weed Science at the Ridgetown Campus. In her application Symington states that she will be researching chemicals that control herbicide resistant water hemp in corn and soybeans.
The Federation’s remaining scholarships went to students who are from a family that is actively farming in Lambton County.
Joyce Anderson Scholarship ($2,000)
Jane Anema of the Sarnia Community Foundation presented the scholarship to Nicholas Geerts, who lives near Wyoming. Geerts is enrolled in the Plant Biotechnology program at the University of Manitoba. In his application, he says that he is studying gene editing and plant breeding. He would like to see genetic changes to seeds to make today’s crops more resistant to the extreme weather conditions that we are experiencing. After obtaining his degree, he thinks that he would like to conduct research at a university on the benefits of altering cover crops.
Bill and Dorothy Abraham Scholarship ($1,000)
Recipient Jordan Rombouts of Warwick Township is a graduate of North Lambton Secondary School. She’s attending The Ridgetown Campus of Guelph University this fall, studying towards an Associate Diploma in Agriculture. In her application, she states that she has a keen interest in livestock production and decided on the program to learn about new technologies for the farm. After completing her diploma she would like to return to her family farm to work along side her father.
Patrick and Timothy Kerrigan Scholarship ($1,000)
Recipient Emily Griffin lives near Sarnia. She’s enrolled in her second year at Lambton College studying Business Administration with an emphasis on accounting. Griffin writes that she has served as the President of the South Lambton 4-H Dairy Club and has worked on a dairy farm for 6 years. Her plans after graduation is find employment as an accountant and to continue to assist her father on his sheep farm and perhaps to have a sheep farm of her own someday.
Bell One Scholarship ($1,000)
Recipient Theresa Van Damme lives near Alvinston. She’s enrolled in her fourth year at the University of Guelph studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. She states in her application that she chose this program because she is very interested in the science and research side of agriculture. Over the last few years, Van Damme has watched the innovative changes that is occurring in the industry such as variable rate fertilizer application and robotic equipment steering and is excited about what farming will look like in the next 10 years. She wants to be part of the group that facilitates these changes.
Bell Two Scholarship ($1,000)
Recipient Sarah Hayter of Alvinston is entering her second year of the Food and Agriculture Business Co-op program at the University of Guelph. Hayter states that this program is geared to offer the management, economic, technical and leadership skills to be successful in agribusiness and agriculture. After graduation she plans to travel to foreign countries to learn about their agricultural procedures before entering the workforce.
Dona Stewardson Scholarship ($1,000)
Recipient Megan McGrail of Wyoming is enrolled in her 5th year of Public Management at the University of Guelph. This program allows for co op work terms and she is currently serving a work term with Wanstead Co op. McGrail says that she plans to continue working in the agriculture sector after she completes her Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Lois Wakefield Scholarship ($1,000)
Recipient Nikki Boere of Warwick Township is a recent graduate of North Lambton Secondary School attending McMaster University this fall. Enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program, Boere states that being raised on a pork farm has taught her the importance of team work to get the big jobs done. During high school, she served on student council and the Terry Fox Relay for Life committee. She says that while agriculture and health care are two different sectors of the economy, they both have a huge impact on people’s overall health. After graduating from the nursing program she would like to work as a nurse practitioner or perhaps enroll in medical school.
There were no qualifying applicants for the Federation’s $1,000 Don McCabe Scholarship.
Also announced at the August 19th online event, Anne McGugan representing the Lambton County Women’s Institute awarded a scholarship to Jordan Rombouts from Warwick Township.