College launches ag entrepreneur program

Students to be paired with local industry partners

Lethbridge College has a new program for students interested in agriculture, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program will launch in September by pairing students with local industry partners to solve real-world problems that affect the agriculture industry.

All college students are eligible to join the extracurricular AgENT program. At the beginning of the academic year, they will be presented with a challenge and will then receive industry mentorship as they brainstorm, design, and test solutions. At the end of the year, they will pitch their solutions to industry with the chance to win awards and see their ideas put into action.

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Senior woman volunteers at a community food drive. She hands a cold bottle of water to a woman during the event.

“Our AgENT participants will focus on idea generation and outside-the-box thinking,” says Megan Shapka, AgENT program co-ordinator. “We’re providing opportunities to develop foundational skills and inspire entrepreneurial spirit.”

To launch the program, the college is working to connect with industry partners who are interested in putting students to the test. The goal is to have students addressing real-life challenges, not just hypotheticals, that will help improve the agriculture industry in southern Alberta.

The AgENT program is made possible thanks to a $5-million gift in 2014 to Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge from Alberta cattle producer Cor Van Raay. Agriculture industry partners interested in being involved in the program are encouraged to contact Shapka at [email protected] or 403-320-3203 ext. 5535.

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