Teens recognized with post-secondary scholarships for their involvement with Canadian Western Agribition as exhibitors, competitors or volunteers
Six students received post-secondary education scholarships at Canadian Western Agribition last week, leading observers to note the industry is in good hands.
Four of them were awarded $2,500 each from Agribition’s scholarship fund for their involvement as exhibitors, competitors or volunteers. Two others received $1,500 memorial scholarships.
Katelyn Serhienko from Maymont, Sask. received the Barry Andrew Family Scholarship.
“We’ve been at Agribition for a very long time, from my grandpa to my dad to my mom and me,” she said.
“This is the one sure plan we make every year as a family, to bring cattle to Agribition. It’s just cool to be recognized for your attendance and contribution.”
Serhienko comes from a purebred Charolais operation and is studying agribusiness at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alta.
“I want to probably do something in ag lending or finance,” she said, adding she will always have cattle as well.
Cassandra Gorrill from Lindsay, Ont., first came to Agribition in 2010.
“I bought a heifer from a farm in Saskatchewan, so we decided to come out and watch her in the show,” she said.
“I did showmanship here and it kind of became the bug to come back every year.”
In 2015, she won the National 4-H and Youth Judging Competition at the show and judged the First Lady Classic.
Now she helps show Herefords for Agribition director Chris Lees.
Gorrill is in her fourth year studying animal science at the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph.
“It’s hopefully a stepping stone to vet school,” she said.
However, she has a back-up plan to obtain a master’s degree focusing on beef genomics, and she, too, says she plans to always own cattle.
“Good cattle are good cattle, but Herefords are definitely where I’ve invested my time and they’re my favourite,” she said.
Emma Nicholas from Milestone, Sask., can’t pick a favourite breed from the two her family raises: Gelbvieh and Hereford.
The family has now begun breeding their Gelbvieh cows to Hereford bulls.
“We’re definitely shifting our focus to purebred Hereford, but I still couldn’t say which is my favourite,” she said.
Nicholas is in Grade 12 and plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan to study either agribusiness or animal science.
“The agriculture industry is really growing,” she said.
“There’s lots to learn and lots of job opportunities.”
Nicholas grew up at Agribition. Her family has been showing cattle at the show since before she was born, and her involvement in 4-H has helped maintain a passion for the industry.
“It’s my first love,” she said.
Morgan Heidecker also credits 4-H and family involvement for her love of the beef cattle industry.
She grew up on Triple H Farm at Middle Lake, Sask., and is in her second year studying agribusiness at the U of S.
“I’m definitely going to be looking for something in the ag industry, and I think my business background will set me apart and give me an advantage,” she said.
She and her siblings are integral to Triple H, and she owns five cattle of her own.
Heidecker said Agribition is great for networking and has helped her and the other scholarship winners make lifelong friends.
“You come down here and you’re all competing, but at the end of the day, you all appreciate each other’s cattle,” she said.
The two other winners were Megan McLeod from Cochrane, Alta., who is pursuing a commerce degree at the U of S, and Tyrell Hicks from Mortlach, Sask., who is studying welding and is a member of the rodeo team at Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona. Hicks received the William M. Farley Memorial Scholarship for contributions to the show through volunteerism.