Joelle Benoit is this year’s recipient of the Zoel Cote Bursary of $500.
She had to write an essay as part of the application process and it is featured here.
I am applying for the Zoel Cote Bursary. Recently, I graduated from Ecole Georges P. Vanier High School as of June 2017 and beginning in September 2017, I have started my post-secondary education at Olds College.
I am currently taking my first year in the Agricultural Management Diploma Program. This decision was brought on by my passion for agriculture and also the multitude of different opportunities within the agriculture industry.
Ever since I was a young girl I have had a passion for agriculture. It mostly started with riding on the toolbox in the cab of the tractor when my father was working.
After that I would play with the model tractor and combines that my dad had when he was a kid. Using those toys, I would farm the carpet, sandbox, and whatever else stood in between me and farming. Being that I am a girl and that farming is traditionally seen as a male occupation, I decided on trying to find a more feminine career opportunity for when I grow up.
After ruling out hairdressing, teaching, nursing, and many other careers that are predominately female, I decided to stay true to my heart and pursue a career in something that is exciting and constantly adapting.
Ignoring the gender roles or this career, I decided that I, Joelle Benoit, am going to continue the farm my great-grandfather started, but first I wanted to learn more about the industry and also the proper way in running a farm, especially with all the new technology being introduced in the industry.
The Agricultural Management Diploma offered by Olds College is known as one o the best agricultural programs offered in Alberta. As a first-year student in the two-year program, I will be taking courses that will give me a good basis on every aspect of the agricultural world.
I will be taking a course about the principles of crop production in which I will be learning the basics of agronomy and how to make sure that the plants that are in a field are getting the proper nutrients.
Principles of animal agriculture is another course that I am taking and in that course, I will be learning the basics of taking care of livestock and learning about the stigma that comes with animal agriculture in the world.
The other courses that I am taking are agribusiness accounting, survey of agribusiness, and agriculture economics are going to teach me the basics of running a business in the agriculture industry.
In my second semester of school I will be able to select a more specific aspect to focus on in the agriculture industry. For example, I will be able to choose between three different majors; production, marketing or finance.
I will be choosing the production route, focusing mainly on the crop production aspects of the major. Crop production will help me in my future goals of working as a sales representative and farming my own land.
After receiving my diploma, I plan on moving back to the Smoky River Region and putting my education to good use on my family farm.
I plan to farm alongside my father until he decides to retire, after that I will take over the business and expand it, however I choose, whether it be diversifying into a small herd of livestock or perhaps just purchasing more land.
While I am working under my father, I will hopefully be working for a company that is involved in the agricultural industry so that I can get a better understanding of the supply chain.
I am hoping to work for a company like CPS, Richardson Pioneer, or possibly as a sales representative for an agribusiness.
In summary, I deserve this scholarship because for as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about agriculture and I have decided to pursue an education in agriculture for which I am going to use my knowledge on my future career of being a farmer.
I would be using the funds to help pay for my tuition in getting a proper education in running a successful grain operation, as well as learning more about the different aspects involved in producing, financing and marketing within the agriculture industry.