2020 Grand Prize Scholarship Winner, Mackenzie Van Damme
Mackenzie was raised on a farm just outside of Imperial, Saskatchewan and has always had a passion for agriculture.
Mackenzie is part of a long farming family history. Van Damme farms was established over a century ago, in 1908. It began as a mixed beef and grain operation and today it’s a grain-only operation. With over 7,000 acres of land, Mackenzie’s family grows several crops, including oilseeds, cereal grains and pulses.
In Mackenzie’s award winning essay submission, she highlighted the impact of agriculture on Saskatchewan, specifically on her own community, Imperial. “This industry has benefited our community in numerous ways and without agriculture, Imperial would be little more than a ghost town,” she writes. Mackenzie also raises an interesting discussion in her essay about the use of genetically modified organisms, new technology in the agriculture sector and how innovation has modernized farms and increased sustainability across the industry.
Mackenzie will be furthering her education at the University of Saskatchewan. She plans to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture with a focus on Agronomy.
View Mackenzie’s Submission
2020 Scholarship Runner-Ups
Born and raised in Estevan, Marci and her family farm just over 14,000 acres of land in the rural municipality of Cambria and Estevan. Marci is a fifth generation farmer on both sides of her family. Marci has witnessed firsthand the hard work and dedication that goes into making a farm operation work.
In her video submission, Marci relates her food story and the impact farming has had on her family, specifically the knowledge that she has gained from her grandfather and parents. “My grandfather, who is 83, has witnessed so many changes in our industry. I’m so lucky to still be farming alongside him today. For me, understanding where our food story started plays a big part in shaping who I am and the role that I play on our farm,” she said.
Marci will be attending the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 2020 to pursue a degree in Animal Science.
View Marci's submission
Isobel comes from a long line of family farmers in the Wishart area. “We are lucky enough to work on land that was awarded century farm status in 1982. It is the oldest operating family farm in the area,” she says in her video application. Isobel is a dedicated 4-H member and she has met many leaders in agriculture who inspired her to pursue a career in the industry.
In her submission, Isobel provides an overview of what her family’s farm operation looks like over the course of a year. She also spoke about how agriculture can help the environment, such as rotating grazing cattle to improve pasture health and sequester carbon.
Isobel also explains how the food they raise on their farm gets to the tables of consumers. “I love attending farmer’s markets with my dad to help people understand where their food comes from and to give people the chance to buy their food directly from the farm where it was produced,” she explains.
Isobel will study horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 2020. In the future, Isobel plans to develop food plant varieties for the changing Saskatchewan climate.
View Isobel’s Submission
Makenzie comes from a mixed farm just outside of Tisdale. “Growing up on a mixed farm allows me to see the story behind our oils and breads, along with our burgers and steaks,” she says in her essay submission.
In her application, Makenzie tells her food story and addresses the importance of animal welfare on a farm. “Many components affect the cattle’s well-being; a happy cow is a healthy cow. Everything from the food they eat to the place they rest, impacts the animals’ well-being,” she writes. Makenzie continues her essay with a discussion about the importance of antimicrobial stewardship and the valuable role veterinarians play on the farm.
Makenzie will be continuing her education at Lakeland College in the fall. She will be attending the Animal Science Technology program, majoring in Beef.
View Makenzie’s Submission