Bright, confident, enthusiastic and articulate – these are the characteristics of the students selected as CSTA Future Influencers. An annual contest, this opportunity connects students with industry leaders for a one of a kind learning opportunity.

The GrowCanada conference provides a platform for networking and sharing among industry leaders from across the country with the goal of sharing cutting edge insight and building a stronger and more vibrant Canadian agricultural sector. As a partner of GrowCanada, CSTA saw an opportunity to host students at the event and have them provide the youth’s perspective. Students who attend are given an exceptional opportunity to meet the leaders of some of the world’s most important agriculture and food companies and organizations, participate in industry discussions and learn more about agriculture.

2018 Future Influencers

Brendan McDougall (Grimsby, Ontario) is a 1st year Masters student in Food and Agriculture Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. He is from a farm background and has been involved with his uncle’s dairy farm from a young age giving him a keen understanding of production agriculture and an appreciation of the work that goes into making food. He has had diverse work experience from his co-op terms during school working in grain merchandising, agronomy and ag lending. Brendan has always been involved in his community through 4-H, his local fair board as well as extracurricular activities at his university. Brendan is pursuing a master’s degree with the hopes of being able to make complex economic issues and new technologies more understandable and implementable for producers on the farm level.

David Westerveld (Ingersol, Ontario) is a 4th year student in the B.Sc. (Agr.) program at the University of Guelph. He plans on continuing his education through a M.Sc. in Weed Science at the University of Guelph following his undergraduate degree. While not growing up on a farm, he found an interest in agriculture at an early age through a part-time job on a local dairy farm. During his summers, David has thoroughly enjoyed working for Sylvite Agri-Service, BASF and Maizex. David believes this workplace experience has complimented his education immensely. He is keen to learn and has a passion for research, agronomy and field crop production and looks forward to working in Canadian Agriculture!

The GrowCanada Experience

The Future Influencers program has been running for over seven years now, and is always a highlight of the GrowCanada conference. We asked past Future Influencer winners about their experience at GrowCanada and how attending the event help shaped their path.

Do you want to be a Future Influencer?

We welcome confident and enthusiastic students in Grade 11 or 12, or students who are studying at an agricultural college or university, to apply for this opportunity. If you are someone who can clearly articulate your views and would be interested in challenging the delegates of GrowCanada, please contact us with an application. CSTA will cover the conference registration, cost of travel and accommodations for the winners and their chaperones (if applicable). Applications are due annually in October, with successful applicants being contacted for a phone interview in late October.

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