SASKATOON – Four Saskatchewan agriculture students are going back to school with extra cash this semester thanks to a scholarship from Co-op.
The company’s ‘Excellence in Ag’ program awarded scholarships of up to $20,000 and a guaranteed summer internship to the recipients, who were chosen from 44 applicants.
The award is open to students from across western Canada that are accepted into their first year of post-secondary education.
“We’re looking for students that have a desire to work in the agriculture industry and I think really, this year, we just saw four tremendous applicants that happened to be enrolled in agricultural colleges,” said Ron Healey, Co-op’s associate VP of Ag and Home.
The four students also receive a guaranteed summer internship after their first year of post-secondary and a potential job after graduation.
The successful applicants wrote a 500-word essay, submitted two letters of recommendation and completed an in-person interview before being selected.
“I was so honoured and so surprised that I even got an interview,” said Alison Kuhn, one of the awardees.
She plans on attending the animal science technology program at Lakeland College in Lloydminster.
“There are so many opportunities with Co-op; agriculture, it can only keep going up because of all the improvements and agriculture advancements,” added Kuhn, who is from Unity, Sask.
The program is in its second year; in 2013, four students were also awarded scholarships. This year, applications rose from 28 to 44 and Healey hopes the number continues to go up.
“That’s huge to have your tuition paid for and then just all the opportunities that come with it,” said Kaylee Morris, of Delisle, Sask., who is slated to enter the agriculture program at the University of Saskatchewan.
“The summer employment and the job opportunities after the fact, I am just really lucky to be a part of this.”
Michelle Ross, of Grenfell, and Danean Edgar, from Wolseley, were also awarded scholarships. Both are enrolled at the U of S for this upcoming year.