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Alberta student researchers win prestigious scholarships

Alberta student researchers win prestigious scholarships
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Two Albertans are the recipients of the Karl C. Ivarson Agricultural Scholarships for 2020.

Jessica Sperber, a PhD student in ruminant nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was awarded the $17,000 scholarship for PhD students. Her research focuses on feedlot sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions, utilizing biochar and measuring its impact on methane production when fed as a cattle feed additive. Raised on a cow-calf and grain operation in central Alberta, Sperber maintains, with her parents’ assistance, a small herd of commercial cattle. She was a Cattlemen’s Young Leader in 2016 and is vice-president of the Young Cattlemen’s Council.

David MacTaggart is the recipient of the $10,000 scholarship for master’s students. He is researching forage breeding and development at the University of Saskatchewan with a focus on developing drone-based tools to identify superior breeding populations of meadow bromegrass and cicer milk vetch for stockpile grazing. As a 4-H member and junior leader, MacTaggart organized events such as the Lacombe 4-H County Fair to showcase food production in central Alberta and is currently a director of the Saskatchewan Forage Council.

The scholarships are awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Food and Agricultural Education. It also awards the Karl C. Ivarson Soil Sciences Scholarship, a $2,000 award for students entering their second or subsequent year of graduate studies in soil science. Applications for this scholarship close on April 23. See for more info. — Canadian Foundation for Food and Agricultural Education

Foundation has $2,500 scholarship on offer

Applications are now being taken for seven awards worth $2,500 for students entering or pursuing an agricultural-related program at a Canadian college, university or apprenticeship (trade) institution.

The awards from the Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation encourage students to take advantage of the many opportunities available in the agri-food sector.

“Employment opportunities abound in the agriculture and food industries,” said foundation chair Jenn Norrie. “Employers are scrambling like never before, and we want to help.”

Applications can be submitted online at The deadline is April 30, 2021.

One scholarship is awarded in each of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, B.C./Territories and Atlantic Canada. Applicants are assessed on a combination of their leadership attributes, and written or video response to the question, ‘What do you consider to be the two main opportunities for the Canadian agriculture industry and which one inspires you the most?’ — Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation

Ag-Expo rescheduled to mid-March

Ag-Expo and Northern American Seed Fair, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 24-26, has been postponed to March 17-19, pending government pandemic guidelines in place at that time.

Lethbridge & District Exhibition postponed the event and two others (an RV expo and home and garden show) because of more restrictive guidelines.

“We are taking the extraordinary step of rescheduling these important events to ensure that more than 600 small and medium-size businesses in southern Alberta can still have the opportunity to safely showcase their goods and services, as well as maintaining a clean and safe environment for the guests and customers,” said Mike Warkentin, COO of the agricultural society that operates Exhibition Park. — Lethbridge & District Exhibition

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