A Spruce Home student has been named the winner of a prestigious scholarship at the Western Canadian Agribition.
Emily Letendre, a third-year Agribusiness student at the University of Saskatchewan, was named the 2019 recipient of the $1,500 Barry Andrew Family Scholarship.
The scholarship is intended to provide financial supports and incentives to a student registered in an Agriculture program. One scholarship can be awarded each year, and if no qualified applications are received, the award is not handed out.
Applicants must be passionate about agriculture and have participated in the Agribition.
Other scholarship winners this year include Balgonie’s Shelby Lockie, McLean’s Baxter Blair and Gladmar’s Brandy Gettes who received the Canadian Western Agribition Scholarship, and Cheyenne Porter from Wainwright, Alta, who received the William M. Farley Memorial Scholarship.
Letendre has applied for the scholarship in the past, so she was thrilled to win.
“This scholarship is really important for me,” Letendre said.
“Not only does it give me the opportunity to express my love and passion for agriculture, …. It releases a burden for me so I don’t have to take out as many student loans or have to worry about working a job while I’m going to school.”
Letendre said her favourite Agribition competition is youth judging.
She got her start in youth judging competitions through the 4-H program.
“I’ve been involved with the 4-H program for 14 years now,” she said.
“They have a competition in Prince Albert every year. I was able to go to that and leaked public speaking and how to judge things.”
She later went to provincials and nationals, which is at Agribition.
“I was also part of the University of Saskatchewan judging team, so I got some experience through that as well to do some judging and learn about different species.”
Letendre said she loves judging because of the different skillsets it requires, including analysis, categorization, critical thinking and public speaking.
“You later have to go up to a judge who’s a professional in that industry and tell them your reasonings (behind your decision),” she said.
“I think that’s such a unique opportunity that kids in the agriculture industry get because we get to be judges at such a young age. It really gives us the skills to become future leaders in every industry.”
Once her degree is done, Letendre is hoping to use those public speaking and networking skills in the agricultural sector, possibly in marketing.
This summer, she is getting the opportunity to work with Bayer on their Saskatoon research farm, an opportunity she said was “exciting.”
Letendre credited 4-H for a lot of her success.
“I think that 4-H has really given me a lot of opportunities and I think it’s a really great organization,” she said.
“It allows young people like myself to become the future leaders of the agriculture industry.”