The mission has one final task for Lethbridge College’s AgENTs. Students from the Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program will pitch innovative solutions to industry-provided challenges at the AgENT Innovate Ag Competition on Saturday.
event marks the culmination of the first year of the extracurricular AgENT
program, which launched in September. Each week, approximately 30 students from
across campus met to dig into issues affecting the agriculture sector. They
will apply the innovation and entrepreneurship skills they’ve learned in a
five-minute pitch to a panel of industry judges, with the goal of presenting an
innovative idea in a way that would make someone implement their solutions.
is a chance for students to showcase their problem-solving skills and big
ideas,” says Megan Shapka, manager of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We have
worked with them this year to instill the entrepreneurial mindset, giving them
agency to create their own future as they prepare to enter a workforce that
will require them to continually reinvent themselves.”
to all students from across campus, the first year of AgENT saw students from
six different programs opt-in. While students from the Agriculture
Sciences and Agricultural
Enterprise Management programs took part, it also attracted students from
Engineering Technology, Computer
Information Technology and Ecosystem
Management programs, showing that the effects of agriculture are
wide-ranging and require solutions from a variety of sectors.
program thrives thanks to the involvement of 26 industry mentors who met with
students four times throughout the academic year. The mentors helped students
make connections and explore innovative solutions.
in our youth is essential to the sustainability of the agriculture industry,”
says Melody Garner-Skiba, executive director, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers and
Vice President, Rocking Heart Ranch. “The AgENT program provides industry with
an amazing way to connect and foster the next generation of agriculture
entrepreneurs by encouraging innovation, diversity and knowledge development.
It has been an honour to be a mentor this past year and see the incredible
future of our industry first hand with the students in AgENT. I know the future
of agriculture is in great hands.”
AgENT program is made possible thanks to a $5-million gift in 2014 to
Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge from Cor Van Raay, a
leading Canadian cattle producer. The program meets his mandate to spur
innovation in the local agriculture industry.
judges for the AgENT Innovate Ag Competition are Western Tractor president
Steven Dyck, Keith Jones of Rowland Farms and Farming Smarter assistant manager
Jamie Puchinger. Pitches take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in
Lethbridge College’s Garden Court Restaurant. Guest speaker Jeff Bilow of
Scotiabank will discuss agriculture over lunch. Awards will then be presented
at 1 p.m.
are cash prizes for the winners, including $500 per team member for first place,
$350 per team member for second place and $200 per team member for third place.
There is also a people’s choice award of $50 per team member.
are invited to attend the event. Megan Shapka (403-715-1515) is the day-of
Created April 5, 2019 | Category: News Articles