WestGen is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 WestGen Education Awards. Each of these selected students will receive $2000 to assist them with their post-secondary agriculture studies. The selection committee was extremely pleased 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 WestGen’s Endowment Fund and we look forward to watching these students become successful in each of their chosen career paths.

Mark Sweetnam
Mark SweetnamWinkler, Manitoba
3rd year Animal Science Technology & Agribusiness Diplomas, Lakeland College

After my stint at Lakeland College I plan on returning home and working alongside my parents to take some weight off of their shoulders as they’ve worked extremely hard to allow me to continue my education. I also plan on continuing to travel to shows to help further my knowledge of fitting cattle as well as to broaden my connections in the industry. In the future I’d like to pass on my passion for good cattle to 4-H members as well as continue my involvement with the WCC program.

Maryje Bikker
Maryje BikkerBarrhead, Alberta
1st Year Animal Science Technology Diploma, Lakeland College

First I would like to thank WestGen for choosing me as a recipient of their scholarship. Currently I am enrolled in the animal science program at Lakeland College. After I finish I hope to go back to my family farm and continue working there. I want to work to improve the genetics of our herd, while also finding new ways to improve production. Also in the future I want to start my own herd and establish a farm of my own.

Daniel Isenschmidt
Daniel IsenschmidtGrunthal, Manitoba
2nd year Animal Science Technology Diploma, Lakeland College

In the future I will continue to contribute to the western Canadian dairy industry by being a proud Canadian dairy farmer who produces milk in a progressive and sustainable manner. I plan to carry on producing a quality product that consumers can trust and rely on, as well as to assist in continuing the advancement of genetics and to increase profitability, all with the end goal of placing more milk in the bulk tank more efficiently. I would like to thank WestGen for assisting me on my academic journey and for helping to support my passion for the dairy industry.

Marlies Kerkhoven
Marlies KerkhovenDesroche, British Columbia
1st year Livestock Production Diploma, University of the Fraser Valley

Thank-you WestGen for selecting me as a recipient of the WestGen Education Awards. I am currently enrolled in the Livestock Production Program at the University of the Fraser Valley Chilliwack campus and also working part time on my family’s dairy farm milking cows in the mornings. After university I plan on honing my skills on the farm and taking on more day to day responsibility especially in the business aspect of the company. In the future I would endeavor to increase consumer awareness of the dairy industry’s rules and regulations on animal welfare and production to promote and support the healthy image of the industry.