Wider Horizons

It may have been around for some 10 millennia, but agriculture still requires innovationgrads growing to continue growing. Lethbridge College builds innovation into its Agricultural Technology program and its grads take that spirit with them into the field.

Take Greg Stamp. Growing up in small-town southern Alberta, helping to run the family farm was something Stamp says he always had in mind. After high school, he enrolled in Lethbridge College’s Agricultural Technology program with the goal of continuing the family legacy.

Stamp completed the program in 2004 and is now the crop production manager of the family business, Stamp Select Seeds, in Enchant. It specializes in producing and selling seed crops including faba beans, flax, wheat, durum and barley, among others.

“I always wanted to be in the ag business, and a family friend suggested the Ag Tech program at the college,” says Stamp. “My parents started farming in 1979 and I worked part-time for the farm throughout my post-secondary schooling and full-time after graduating in 2006.”

He says the family business allows each involved to specialize in certain areas and work as a team to keep their product going. Stamp has two younger brothers who also have ties to the college: one has applied for fall admission into the Ag Tech program and the other has graduated with a diploma in business administration. Stamp says he hopes to see them back on the farm one day.

Then, there’s Maureen Perlich. For Perlich (1995), helping to run the family business isn’t just a job: it’s a way of life. Thanks to Lethbridge College’s Ag Tech program, she gained the skills necessary to do her part in keeping the family’s four-decade legacy strong.

And, when a little innovative thinking was required after the BSE scare devastated southern Alberta in 2002, Perlich came up with a way to celebrate the positive aspects of the agriculture industry: Harvest Hoedown.

“Harvest Hoedown is a real passion for me as it recognizes the Ag Tech program and is an evening to celebrate the agriculture industry,” says Perlich.

Held each fall, the event has raised a considerable amount for program scholarships.

Her work with Harvest Hoedown and several other agriculture initiatives won her the Community Leader award this year as a Lethbridge College Distinguished Alumni recipient.

Jeff Bronsch (1988) is a newer member of the Potato Growers of Alberta. He joined the PGA as technical director in 2007 after 18 years with the Irrigation Branch of Alberta Agriculture.

“As technical director, I work closely with growers and people within the industry to address production issues including crop pests, diseases and conducting chemical trials,” he says.

All three carry on the tradition of Lethbridge College’s role in producing successful Ag Tech grads who succeed through innovation.

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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