ELORA – The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) has awarded 16 scholarships and bursaries to local students totaling $40,000.
The presentations were made on Aug. 26 at Grand River Raceway in Elora where recipients and their families were treated to dinner and an evening of horse racing alongside GRAS board members.
The scholarship/bursary program is designed to provide financial assistance for students residing in Wellington and Perth Counties, and the Region of Waterloo, who are entering, or currently enrolled in college or university agriculture-related programs.
This year’s awards were $2,500 per recipient.
Since its inception in 2006, the GRAS program has awarded $176,500 to 102 students.
The 2019 recipients are:
– Anuja Shrestha of Guelph, attending University of Guelph;
– Michelle Thompson of Kitchener, attending University of Guelph;
– Jade Muileboom of Guelph, attending University of Guelph;
– Mercedes Ready-Campbell of Guelph, attending University of Guelph;
– Bethany Harwood of Cambridge, attending University of Guelph;
– Meghan Martin of Elmira, attending University of Guelph;
– Brianna Lirette of Guelph, attending University of Guelph (Ontario Agricultural College);
– Emily Smart of Moorefield, attending Lakehead University;
– Cristin McCarty-Van Straaten, attending University of Guelph (Ontario Agricultural College);
– Kate Martin of Wallenstein, attending University of Guelph;
– Katie McCurdy of St. Mary’s, attending University of Guelph;
– Derrick Knill of Bornholm, attending University of Guelph;
– Emma Starratt of Fergus, attending University of Guelph;
– Quinn Wilson of Harriston, attending University of Guelph;
– Hayleigh Royce of Listowel, attending Lakehead College; and
– Madison Armstrong of Clifford, attending University of Guelph (Ridgetown).
“This is my first time being selected to be rewarded with the GRAS scholarship,” said Armstrong a first-year student at the University Of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus.
“I am truly grateful for this opportunity.
“The awarded money will go towards furthering my education through theory and practices on campus such as Spring Expo, 4-H clubs, and international trips to view all types of agriculture and horticulture.”
Martin is also a first time recipient.
“I’m heading into my first year at the University of Guelph for the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, planning to major in Animal Science,” she said.
“Receiving this scholarship gives me the chance to keep volunteering in the agriculture community while I am going to school.
“It allows me to stay involved and learn more about the industry.”
Michelle Thompson is a three-time recipient of a GRAS scholarship and working towards a PhD in Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph.
“The GRAS Scholarships are incredibly valuable for encouraging students in agricultural and environmental fields,” she said.
‘The scholarship makes a huge difference in reducing financial stresses while in school, and really helps me to focus fully on my research. I am immensely thankful for the support.”
Brie Lirette is enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College (Class of 2023).
“I have dedicated much of my life to getting into vet school,” she said. “Once I got in, I thought that all stress would be lifted — was I ever wrong.
“Now I am experiencing many new stressors, one of which is money. The financial contributions of the scholarship will lighten my debts and will allow me to excel in school and focus on my passion for animal health and welfare.”
The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) is the operator of Grand River Raceway in Elora.
The GRAS is a not-for-profit society, incorporated under the Agricultural Societies Act of Ontario and operated by a volunteer board of directors.
It is part of the GRAS mandate to encourage an awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community. For more information about the GRAS Scholarship/Bursary program visit https://grandriveragsociety.com/giving.