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(Headingley, MB) With a successful inaugural scholarship launch under their belts, Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C) and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) are thrilled to offer the DFC Here for Tomorrow Scholarship, powered by thinkAG, again in 2023.
In its pilot year, the scholarship received 42 applications from coast to coast, and had multiple teachers participate in the classroom project. Drawing on the excellent submissions from year one, DFC and AITC-C have increased the number of award recipients from two to five, and raised winnings from $2,500 to $3,000 per student. By expanding the scholarship offering, DFC and AITC-C hope to support more students as they continue their education journeys.
Open to Canadian students in Grades 10-12 (Secondary 4-5 in Quebec), this scholarship aims to invigorate and equip the next generation with the understanding and belief that they have the power to make informed, sustainable food choices and career decisions.
Fueled by AITC-C’s career exploration initiative, thinkAG - the scholarship connects students with the multitude of important roles and professions that exist within the agriculture and food sector, helping them recognize how their interests and skills can be utilized in this evolving industry.
“We were incredibly impressed while reviewing the multitude of high-quality submissions from students in year one of the scholarship. Applicants carefully identified and articulated how their interests related to careers in agriculture and food, and how vital those jobs are in ensuring we continue to strive for global sustainability. Their expressive interpretations were filled with hope for the future. Being able to witness the “lightbulb” moment when applicants realized that they have a place in agriculture was inspiring. We couldn’t be more excited to offer this opportunity again this year to remind youth that jobs in agriculture and food are as abundant as they are important.” says Morgan MacTavish, AITC-C’s thinkAG Project Coordinator.
The scholarship, generously supported by Dairy Farmers of Canada, was developed to inspire Canadian youth to play an active role in contributing to a more sustainable tomorrow. The scholarship encourages career exploration in agriculture by providing students with unique perspectives on how to make an impact in sustainable farming and food production both locally and nationally.
“Dairy farmers have a long history of environmental stewardship and are eager to pass these values on to the next generation as we pursue a goal of net-zero emissions from dairy production by 2050,” says Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. “We hope that this scholarship will embolden students to consider a career in agriculture and become stewards of the land, helping to care for our planet and feed our nation for years to come.”
To support the variety of student learning styles, the scholarship features inclusive eligibility requirements and diverse submission options. The DFC Here for Tomorrow Scholarship focuses on intrinsic reflection and defining sustainability through the lens of students’ original ideas and critical thinking. Applicants need to submit one of the following: a written essay (1,500 words), a video (3 mins), or a visual arts piece (ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, design, craft, photography, architecture), answering key questions pertaining to their interests, agriculture and food careers, and global sustainability. Submissions are to be completed independently; however, educators can support students in the scholarship application process by assigning it as a classroom project for course evaluation or extra credit.
To support sustainability initiatives underway in Canada, it is important to consider how these practices will be sustained and advanced in the future. This scholarship helps Canadian youth recognize how they can play a vital role in building a sustainable future for themselves and their world.
The scholarship is now officially open for applications. Submissions will be accepted until May 1, 2023. Educators can access the supporting classroom materials by visiting DFC Here For Tomorrow Scholarship | thinkAG.