A new scholarship is being offered to farmers who want to improve their farm business management skills.
The Robert L. Ross Memorial Scholarship offers free tuition to the CTEAM (Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management) program and up to $4,000 towards travel expenses.
“Bob Ross was instrumental in the creation of CTEAM,” said Heather Broughton, an Alberta farmer and principal of Agri-Food Management Excellence (AME), which offers the program.
“His passion for farm business management excellence was exemplified as he encouraged and supported the participants through his many years of involvement with the program.”
One of them was Gibbons producer Mike Kalisvaart, who remained in close contact with Ross after graduating from the CTEAM program in 2011.
“Bob drew such energy and passion from helping farmers young and old improve their business management skills, so this is a very fitting tribute,” said Kalisvaart. “I will always be grateful to him for the role he played in helping our family and being such a great friend and mentor. He helped us take our financial management to a whole new level and helped open us to a wider vision.”
Ross, an Ontario dairy farmer and farm business consultant, died of cancer in March. The scholarship was created by his family, AME, and Farm Management Canada, and will be offered annually.
Kalisvaart urged Alberta producers, particularly younger farmers and those planning to grow their farm business, to consider applying.
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“CTEAM is the premier Canadian agricultural business program and I learned a lot during my time in it,” said Kalisvaart, who with wife Karen Jansen were winners of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer award in 2013.
“I would suggest to any farmer who is becoming established in their farm operation to take this course to fill gaps in their management skills and to network with a large group of very successful graduates from across Canada.”
The application deadline is Oct. 31. Applicants must demonstrate they have a progressive operation and entrepreneurial spirit; community or industry involvement; and say how the value gained from the program will be used. The application and scholarship criteria can be found at Agri-Food Management Excellence website.