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New crop of students exploring agriculture and food granted Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarships

/ -- WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Oct 2, 2017) - With four available jobs for every agriculture graduate today there has never been a better time for students from both rural and urban locations across the country to consider an education in agriculture or an agriculture/food-related field.

That's just the path 65 students who have earned $1500 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarships are starting down as they enter their first year of agriculture or food-related studies at Canadian universities and colleges this fall. Unique to the winners' list this year is a student who grew up on an Alpaca farm in the Yukon.

"Farming in the isolated north has its own unique set of challenges where the winters are brutally long, the climate is unforgivingly dry and the cost of supplies ridiculously high," wrote Kataya Ulrich from Northern Spirit Alpaca Farm located just outside the city limits of Whitehorse, Yukon. "But global warming is beginning to alter the realities of our harsh climate. Our winters are not as cold and we are experiencing more moisture and a longer growing season. The agricultural economy is growing and with the right focus, I think it has the potential for great success."

Traditionally the Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Program required applicants to be from a farm and entering agriculture or an agricultural-related field of study. In honour of the program's 25th anniversary last year, and the recognition of the close connection between farming and food, eligibility for the Opportunity Scholarship Program was extended to students pursuing studies in food-related fields of study, regardless of whether they grew up on a farm or not.

"Our program has always been about supporting young people in their pursuit of a diploma or degree in agriculture because we need the very best to consider agriculture as a career path so our industry can continue to grow and prosper," said Trish Jordan, director of public and industry affairs with Monsanto Canada. "Our decision to open up the program to students interested in a food-related career was driven by a desire to close the gap between farming and food. It also acknowledges that agriculture truly is all about food."

Thousands of deserving Canadian students have received a total of more than $1.9 million since the scholarship program launched using corporate funds in 1991. Transition to the Monsanto Fund in 2012 has enabled more students to win scholarships due to consistent funding for the program.

All applications were reviewed by an independent judging panel comprised of: Robert Adamson, consultant and program director with Pembina Trails School Division; Johanne Ross, Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom-Canada.; JoAnne Buth, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian International Grains Institute; Crystal Jorgenson, Communications Specialist with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba; Ellen Pruden, Education and Promotion Manager for the Manitoba Canola Growers Association; and Brigitte Burgoyne, Communications Manager, Richardson International.

Administered on behalf of the Monsanto Fund by Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba Inc. (AITC-M), the scholarship program received 156 applications from across Canada this year.

"We are thrilled to serve as the independent administrator of the Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Program," said Sue Clayton, executive director of AITC-M. "Our organization is focused on connecting students to agriculture, exposing them to the role agriculture plays in their lives and opening their eyes to the many opportunities available to build a career in agriculture. It's rewarding for us to see so many students wanting to explore education and careers in agriculture."

Contact us for information on the stories of scholarship winners near you. Details on the launch of the 2018 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Program will be released in February 2018 and will also be available online at

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

About Monsanto Canada

Headquartered in Winnipeg, MB, Monsanto Canada Inc. is part of the larger global Monsanto Company. Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops - such as canola, soybeans and corn - that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, non-profit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world's biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit: or follow us on Twitter @MonsantoCda.

NOTE: The complete list of 2017 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship winners, by province, is included below.

2017 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Winners

Gwyn Beatty Chauvin, AB Jasmin, Bautz Middle Lake, SK
Joelle Benoit Girouxville, AB Elizabeth, Berenik Moose Jaw, SK
Cole Chesterman Edgerton, AB Chris Dykema Vanguard, SK
Jessica Dugan Sherwood Park, AB Mercedes Kuny Tisdale, SK
Emmalyn Elgersma Brooks, AB Dena Lamb Regina, SK
Alyssa Henderson Bashaw, AB Amanda Mitchell Bracken, SK
Cassandra Klaas Claresholm, AB Jordan Mitchell Battleford, SK
Erika MacDonald St. Albert, AB Kyra Morozowski Glaslyn, SK
Miranda Miranda Red Deer, AB Sara Olexsyn Wakaw, SK
Afke Muller Hays, AB Cheyenne Quam Kendal, SK
Grace Nimco Colinton, AB Brylan Radtke Webb, SK
Kaitlin Rose Champion, AB Laine Radwell Fort Qu'Appelle
Jourdyn Sammons Gleichen, AB Jessica Renkas Lumsden, SK
Shynelle Scherbey Ituna, SK
Brantley Wasmuth Battleford, SK
Luke Bossuyt Oak Bluff, MB
Margaux Cassagne Ste. Agathe, MB
Logan Cline Belmont, MB
Elisabeth Crick Morris, MB
Jared Hulme MacGregor, MB
Kate Lexetier Fisher Branch, MB
Magdalena Melnychuk Balmoral, MB
Ashlyn Pizzey Binscarth, MB
Michelle Pottinger Neepawa, MB
Emily Turner Souris, MB
Luke Van Damme Glenora, MB
Owen Wolf Fannystelle, MB
Adrienne Agueci Toronto, ON David Billette Valleyfield, QC
Connor Charlton Merlin, ON Maxence Landry St-Cyprien de Napierville, QC
Nicole Corley Lindsay, ON Florence Paradis Boucherville, QC
Ashley DeJong Baltimore, ON Luc Roy Saint-Jules, QC
Taylor Flewwelling Earlton, ON
Karlie Haining Vineland, ON
Samantha Kennedy Omemee, ON MARITIMES
Derrick Knill Bornholm, ON Brooke Boonstoppel Dumfries, NB
Joshua Moran Berwick, ON Thian Carman Barton, NS
Mikayla Ringelberg Troy, ON Brayden Lewis Kingston, NS
Bryce Ruppert Delhi, ON Beth Murray Debert, NS
Hannah Symington Watford, ON
Abbey Taylor Belmont, ON
Matthew Vermey Blenheim, ON YUKON
Josh Weber Newbury, ON Kataya Ulrich Whitehorse, YK
Noah Weber Wheatley, ON

Trish Jordan
Monsanto Canada
(204) 985-1005