Students looking to pursue a career in agriculture have a government-sponsored scholarship that may be worth pursuing.
“The Agriculture Student Scholarship Program allows the ministry to identify young agriculture advocates and leverage their passion to tell the story of Saskatchewan’s agriculture,” said Bryce Lewans, the public trust specialist with the Sask. Ministry of Agriculture.
“The scholarship is available to Grade 12 students, or recent high school or GED (General Educational Development) graduates from the past two school years (as of 2023) living in Saskatchewan who plan to take agriculture-related post-secondary education, beginning in the fall of 2024.”
The scholarship is available to any qualified student who is currently residing in the province.
“They have to be Saskatchewan residents who are planning to take an agriculture-related, post-secondary education (program) anywhere in Canada,” said Lewans, noting that students can study anywhere they choose within the country.
There is no requirement that considers a student’s academic performance, but all applicants must prepare and submit material on a topic related to agriculture.
“Applicants are required to submit a three-minute video, or a 1,000-word essay on the topic of farming and environmental sustainability,” Lewans explained. “That’s our theme for this year.”
To assist prospective students with the task of choosing a focal point for their application material, the Sask. Ministry of Agriculture has laid out a few guidelines on its official website:
- “What does environmental sustainability in agriculture look like?
- “What can the agriculture industry do to communicate the sustainable environmental practices performed by Saskatchewan producers?
- “What can be done to preserve ecosystems and ensure effective land management within farming operations?
- “What steps are producers taking now to ensure the preservation of the environment for the future?
- “What can producers do differently to better promote environmental sustainability?”
The official website lists a few suggestions to help students find inspiration.
“Obviously, if it’s a topic the student is passionate about, then that is a really good angle to take,” Lewans said to simplify the matter.
“A few of the things we’re looking for is a demonstration of leadership, showing passion, and creativity with their submissions.
“(Applicants) will need to have a letter of reference from their school, work, or a community leader as well with their application."
The scholarship program offered by the Sask. Ministry of Agriculture is entering its 14th year in 2023, and thanks to a new partnership, the amount offered by the scholarship has now increased.
“The increase comes from the new Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership, which is a funding agreement between the federal government and the province (of Saskatchewan),” Lewans explained. Launched in 2023, this is the first year of the partnership’s five-year agreement.
“The total scholarship amounts have been increased to one $6,000 grand prize, and that’s up from $4,000 last year (2022). As well, there are three runner-up scholarships of $3,000, which are increased from $2,000 last year (2022),” he confirmed.
Once submissions have been made, all applications will be reviewed by staff from the Sask. Ministry of Agriculture and the winners will be determined when the evaluation process has concluded.
“The Agriculture Student Scholarship is awarded annually and recognizes students who are emergent leaders in the agriculture industry. Over the past 14 years, the (Sask.) Ministry of Agriculture has awarded $130,000 supporting students pursuing agriculture-related post-secondary education,” Lewans said.
Applications are currently being accepted, and the deadline is Mar. 1, 2024.
To apply, visit Saskatchewan.ca/ag-scholarship. Here, students will find a website button where the application form can be downloaded.
Once completed, applications can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership (S-CAP) can be found at Saskatchewan.ca/S-CAP.
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