By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
A member of the Coaldale & District Agriculture Society has won an agriculture scholarship.
Barrt Maayen is one of this year’s six recipients of the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies (AAAS) Scholarship, announced in early February.
“I am very excited about the award, especially considering it’s from an organization that has been such an important part of farming communities in the province for decades,” said Maayen about receiving the scholarship.
Having been raised on a farm, spending eight years as a member of the Lethbridge-Coaldale 4-H Beef Club and having worked on a local land and cattle operation, Maayen said he had “always enjoyed” working in agriculture, and “that all made it a pretty easy decision” to continue in the agriculture field.
According to information provided by AAAS, Maayen has been an active member of the Coaldale Agriculture society and has helped out with their various events. He plans to continue helping out members of his old 4-H club, has worked with the homeless at Streets Alive and the Soup Kitchen in Lethbridge, and has helped seniors with yardwork in Coaldale. Additionally, during his time in 4-H, he served seniors at the Lethbridge Seniors Citizen Centre, sold poppies and removed trash from around Coaldale.
Maayen is currently studying Agribusiness at Lethbridge College, with plans to finish his diploma in the next year, and is “undecided yet” on whether to immediately pursue further education in the agriculture field afterwards. He is looking forward to joining the workforce soon.
The AAAS scholarships were started in 1995, when AAAS decide to use funds from a Special Project Trust Fund to create a scholarship for Alberta students who were either in or entering an agriculture program. Applicants had to be nominated by their agricultural society in order to be eligible. In the early 2000s, the scholarship was expanded to include both agriculture and general studies, and over the years, the number of scholarships given out increased to six.
Maayen’s advice for those looking to go into the agriculture sector is to network and meet people.
“Honestly, just get to know as many people from the industry as you can. There is an incredible amount of advice and opportunities out there, and the best way to get exposed to them is to meet new people from the industry,” said Maayen.