WestGen and the WestGen Endowment Fund are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 WestGen Education Awards. Each of these worthy students will receive $2000 to assist them with their post-secondary agriculture studies. The selection committee was thoroughly impressed with the quality of applicants this year and encourages those not selected to apply again next year. Supporting youth and the development of the western Canadian cattle industry are mandates of WEF and we look forward to watching these students with their varied farm, industry and community involvement and experiences make their mark!

Edith Wouters
Edith WoutersAlberta
BSc (Agr) Agriculture Business, University of Lethbridge

I would like to start by thanking WestGen for their continuous support for the youth in agriculture. Upon completion of my degree program I aim to work with companies, such as WestGen, to promote agriculture to the urban population. Creating sustainability within the agriculture sector is my main goal. I have had the privilege to grow up on a dairy farm, and with programs such as 4-H, have had the opportunity to expand my scope of knowledge in other areas of agriculture. I have also had the opportunity to participate in the Western Canadian Classic show for numerous years, and would love to help out with the continuation of such a great program. Thank you again for choosing me as the recipient for this award!

Erin Loogman
Erin LoogmanAlberta
BSc (Agr) Animal Science, University of Alberta

I am very excited for the opportunities in 2014 that will further develop my experiences and knowledge needed for a career in the dairy industry. I plan on using this money to help fund my trip to California and Indiana to participate in the regional and national Dairy Challenge competitions, where we will be competing against other universities critically analyzing dairy operations. Myself and four others from the University of Alberta will be representing Western Canada at this competition, which I am completing for capstone credit towards my Agriculture degree. This experience will aide in developing the skills necessary for improving our family farm operation and a career as a large animal veterinarian, where I hope to specialize in dairy cattle.

Jessica Bouwers
Jessica BouwersBritish Columbia
BSc Biology/Pre-Vet, University of PEI

Thanks to this award, I will continue to pursue becoming a large animal vet at the Atlantic Veterinary College, graduating from here and eventually moving back to BC. I intend to open a large animal practice with focus on the farming community and hope to increase awareness about the value of genetics on functional dairy farms. I intend to help farmers work towards breeding the healthiest herds possible through AI providers such as WestGen. I would like to thank WestGen for this assistance in getting one step closer to fulfilling my dreams and also for serving as a subtle push toward this career path.

Chance Hofstra
Chance HofstraAlberta
Animal Science Technology, Lakeland College

It has always been a lifelong ambition of mine to be a dairy farmer, in the future I hope to continue pursuing this goal on my family farm. I have a huge potential to continue my work in the dairy industry while supporting the use of quality genetics and producing quality milk. I hope to embrace new prospective technologies as the agriculture business continues to change. I anticipate that I will contribute my knowledge and skills to improving our family dairy farm and as a result helping to build a future within the Western Canadian dairy industry.