CHURCHBRIDGE, SK – Tim Koelen & Mikayla Ringelberg, both from Ontario, have been selected as the Outstanding Young Farmers Memorial Scholarship winners for 2019. Each winner has received a $1,000 scholarship to support their post-secondary agricultural education.
Tim’s love for agriculture began when he purchased four sheep at age nine and was farming 70 acres in Paisley, ON by the age of thirteen. He has experienced debt and undertaken a number of cooperative education opportunities in his short nine years of farming, all in hopes of taking over the family farm. He believes post-secondary education will provide him more insight on how to improve his farming now and in the future. Tim began his post-secondary education at the University of Guelph this fall, where he is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.
Mikayla grew up on a family dairy farm in Troy, ON. She believes in expanding her knowledge by experiencing the many sectors of agriculture and wants to share that knowledge with all people. She feels today’s youth need to be exposed to the agriculture industry in order to understand the opportunities available to them now and in the future. Mikayla wishes to pursue a career as a large animal veterinarian and is starting her third year of her Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Biology at the University of Guelph.
Since 2009, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers program has supported agricultural education for young Canadians through its Memorial Scholarship fund. The OYF Memorial Scholarship was established by the late Martin Streef, recipient of both Ontario’s and Canada’s OYF awards in 1996, to help future generations of Canadians pursue their passion for agriculture. Martin was president of Streef Produce Ltd., a family-run fresh fruit and vegetable business in Woodstock Ontario.
The award includes two annual scholarships – one to an individual who has completed at least one year of post-secondary study in agriculture, and the other to someone who has completed high school and is enrolling in a post-secondary education in agriculture. As part of the application process, applicants are asked to write an essay about why they are passionate about agriculture in Canada.
Both winners will be recognized at the Ontario OYF regional event September 10th, 2019 in Woodstock ON.
Full details and application forms for the OYF Memorial Scholarships are available at www.oyfcanada.com under “Scholarships”. The deadline for nominations for the 2020scholarships is June 30, 2020.
Celebrating 39 years, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ program is an annual competition to recognize farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession and promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture. Open to participants 18 to 39 years of age, making the majority of income from on-farm sources, participants are selected from seven regions across Canada, with two national winners chosen each year. The program is sponsored nationally by CIBC, John Deere, Bayer, Sollio Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,. The program is supported nationally by BDO and Farm Management Canada.