Bursary to benefit students in farming industry

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There are two weeks left to apply for a scholarship aimed at students in the agriculture industry.

The MD of Foothills Agricultural Services Board scholarship deadline is Dec. 1. The $2,500 scholarship is for a resident of the MD going into or currently studying in a program directly related to agriculture or veterinary medicine.

“We like to see that investment we’re making into that young person’s education possibly come back and benefit the residents of the MD of Foothills and the agricultural industry as a whole,” said MD agriculture services manager Jeff Porter. “That’s kind of the purpose of it.”

Enrolment must be at a recognized post-secondary institution, he said.

The ag services board determines eligibility based on students’ academic standing in high school or previous years of post-secondary studies and financial need. Preference is also given to those attending Canadian institutions, he said.

“The only reason we kind of went with the Canadian institution thing was because we look at that money, and if it’s going toward a U.S. school then the exchange rate really dilutes the amount of money we’re giving them,” said Porter.

This is the first year the ag services board scholarship has been worth $2,500, he said. Previously, $5,000 per year was divided between up to five students who received $1,000 each.

Now two scholarships of $2,500 are awarded each year, which Porter said makes the bursary a decent amount that can really help out the students. Ordinarily the scholarship deadline is June 30, but changing up the criteria and model delayed the process for 2017. Students have until Dec. 1 to apply for the second installment of $2,500.

The first scholarship was awarded to Adelle Herr, who is studying a bachelor of science in agriculture and biosciences at the University of Saskatchewan.

Porter said $5,000 is set aside in the MD’s agriculture services budget for the scholarship each year, which the board feels is a good way to utilize the budget because it gives back to the agriculture industry and the community in general.

He said the MD usually receives a lot of applications from students for the annual bursary.

“It’s been well-subscribed up to this point, for sure,” said Porter. “My last five years we’ve received at least five to 10 applications per year.”

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