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Get to know our Summer Crew!

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by Cassidy Langridge

School’s out for the summer but that doesn’t mean that students stop learning. They just come to Farming Smarter, where they continue learning while also having a bit of fun.

During the summer months, Farming Smarter enjoys energetic students that come work with us either in the office or out in the field. Some are familiar faces we’re glad to see back and others are new to the crew. Summer students range from high school students to university students. Twelve students joined us this summer, eight field workers and four Lethbridge College Digital Media Program graduates.

Carlo Van Herk showing that summer student energy!

Communication Manager Claudette Lacombe, says she is thrilled to invite Digital Media students for practicums where they can test their skills while learning about career opportunities in agriculture. ” Farming Smarter spends a lot of time and money-making sure farmers hear about the research that can help them on-farm to increase sustainability, profitability and global competitiveness. We have multiple communication vehicles and platforms. We also have a commitment to foster youth in the region and a partnership with Lethbridge College,” says Lacombe.

It is great to see the students learn and take pride in the work they do for Farming Smarter. These students bring energy along with them every summer and this year is no exception. They drive us crazy every day, but we still like having them around and helping them along their learning path.

Here is our summer crew:

Declan Sander

Declan Sander

I’m a junior at Catholic Central High School and this will be my first official year working at Farming Smarter. Last year, I volunteered for two weeks and had a great experience. The supportive staff and the ability to learn while working Farming Smarter is awesome. This year I would like to learn some technical skills, such as how to drive a tractor or maybe how to spray pesticides.

Carlo Van Herk

Carlo Van Herk

I attend the University of Lethbridge, where I plan to graduate April 2021with an Agricultural Studies bachelor’s degree. This is my second summer working at Farming Smarter. I enjoy working here because the work is diverse and involves many activities from seeding to harvesting; data collection to event hosting. Last year I found it very satisfying to see our summer’s worth of hard work come to an end by combining the harvest and thus completing that summer’s project. I am excited to work here again this summer and I am looking forward to learning more about crop research along with the other summer students.

Cameron Sande

Cameron Sande

I attend the University of Lethbridge working toward a Bachelors Degree in Geography focused on agriculture. I expect to graduate April 2021. I grew up on our family farm in Lomond and I plan to go back once I graduate. This is my second summer at Farming Smarter. In my time here, I learned numerous techniques that I can apply to our family farm. My time is mainly focused on large scale research as well as working with many GIS tools. I came back for a second year because of the atmosphere here – it feels like a family.

Sara Gateman

Sara Gateman

I am studying Biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge with a minor in French. This is my fouth year working at Farming Smarter and I keep telling Ken Coles he is stuck with me now. I really enjoy working here, every year I learn so many things and make so many amazing friends and memories. I am excited to be here for another summer

Aaron Lorenz

Aaron Lorenz

This is my first year at Farming Smarter and I am a fourth year economics major at University of Lethbridge. As my minor is in Ag Economics, I look at my time at Farming Smarter as an opportunity to grow my first hand knowledge of agriculture. I look forward to getting my hands dirty as I see a new side of agriculture. I hope that combining theory and sweat will lead to a harvest of rewards in my future.

Aidan Sander

Aidan Sander

A recent graduate of Pearson United World College in Victoria, British Columbia, I plan to attend Queen’s University in fall 2020. I plan to pursue a career in medicine through its QuARMS (Queen’s accelerated route to medical school) program. This is my second year with Farming Smarter and I really enjoy my time here. Farming Smarter was my first introduction to modern agricultural and agronomic practices. As a so-called ‘city slicker,’ I find the research at Farming Smarter extremely interesting and impressive. I am always eager to learn new things while I am here! In my free time, I enjoy catching crabs, fishing, and reading.

Michaela Gateman

Michaela Gateman

I am currently a second year student at the University of Lethbridge studying Neuroscience. During the school year I work as a lifeguard at the YMCA. This will be my first summer with Farming Smarter. Since I grew up in a farming family, I look forward to learning about the research side of farming. I’m excited to work here this summer and get to know my coworkers.

Austin Van Amerongen

Austin Van Amerongen

I studied Digital Communications and Marketing at the Lethbridge college. I did my practicum through Farming Smarter after working with them a bit during the school year. I wanted to practice my skills through a source that I trusted and work with someone that is extremely knowledgeable. My goals for the future shifted from a communications career to one more centered in software development, but my time at Farming Smarter was one that was extremely enriching and I won’t soon forget!

Sean Sander

Sean Sander

I’m from a family of four boys. I am lucky to be working at Farming Smarter with two of my brothers. Lethbridge is home, but I am spending my school years in Edmonton studying material engineering at the University of Alberta. In my spare time, I like to cook, fish, hunt, ski, play volleyball and basketball. Spending summers on my grandpa’s farm and being surrounded by southern Alberta farming culture, sparked my interest in farming. This is my first summer with Farming Smarter. As part of Mike Gretzingers’s research team, I gain firsthand experience and knowledge of cutting edge farming practices and technology. The work here is very interesting, but all the people here are what make this job so enjoyable.

Tianna Ell

Tianna Ell

This is my second summer working for Farming Smarter and I enjoy the opportunity to take part in new and unique experiences completely out of my comfort zone. I’m currently completing my practicum as a graduating requirement for Digital Communications and Media at Lethbridge College. Before starting with Farming Smarter, I had no prior experience in agriculture. Every staff member happily helped me on my journey through this new environment. I’m usually not out in the field as I spend most of my time working on social media and updating the Farming Smarter website. I get outside when I get behind a camera for an event.

Heather Grande

Heather Grande

I come from small town in Saskatchewan and have a knowledge of the ever-changing market. I can’t wait to spend this summer honing my skills and working in the field to gain a once in a lifetime experience as I complete my practicum over the summer with Farming Smarter. I am a Digital Communications and Media student graduating from Lethbridge College Digital Journalism.

Cassidy Langridge

Cassidy Langridge

I graduated with a diploma in Digital Media & Communications this year from Lethbridge College. I did my practicum at Farming Smarter where I now work through a grant from 5th on 5th Youth in Lethbridge. I didn’t really understand agriculture or even have an interest in it, to be honest, at the beginning. Once I started to learn and write about projects around here, I was amazed at all the topics we cover. My family is probably tired of listening to me talking about the latest research or news post I wrote. They all know about silage trials and the pea leaf weevil now thanks to me!