Sustainability is a major theme for students and schools alike. Our planet's delicate future is in our hands, and it will take lots of hard work (and a few brilliant ideas along the way) to ensure our world is healthy and habitable for generations to come.
That's why Agriculture in the Classroom - Canada (AITC-C) and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) have partnered to offer the Here for Tomorrow Scholarships: five awards of $3,000 each to high school students with ideas and big dreams for the future of sustainable agriculture.
Who's eligible for a Here for Tomorrow scholarship?
Any student attending a Canadian high school is eligible to apply for a Here for Tomorrow scholarship. (You must be a legal resident of Canada, though.) You also must be in grade 10, 11, or 12, though — secondary 4 or 5 in Quebec.
I'm eligible — how do I apply?
To apply for a Here for Tomorrow scholarship, you'll need to follow a few steps. Be sure to take your time with each — it's not a race! You have until May 1, 2023, to complete your application. (That said, applying is a 10 step process, so it couldn't hurt to get started soon!)
Step 1: Learn about thinkAG
The thinkAG website is designed to teach students about agriculture and food. You can explore career options, get answers to common questions, and connect with thinkAG reps to go deeper.
For the purposes of the Here for Tomorrow scholarship, just spend some time on the thinkAG site to discover the many opportunities in the world of agriculture — even if you're not a farmer!
Step 2: Review the terms and conditions
Not super interesting, but necessary. Give a look to the scholarship terms and conditions (PDF), and be sure you agree before continuing.
Step 3: Take the Holland career code test online
"Take a test? No way!" — we hear you! The Holland Codes (also known as the RIASEC system) isn't an exam, but a method of exploring your career interests through a series of questions. You'll do a deep dive on your aptitude across six categories:
- Build (realistic)
- Think (investigative)
- Create (artistic)
- Help (social)
- Persuade (enterprising)
- Organize (conventional)
You'll receive a score on each facet — if you get a tie, you can choose whichever option appeals most to you. You'll use your Holland Code results throughout the rest of the scholarship application.
The test is 100% online and 100% free, so there's no risk to spending some time going through the questionnaire. The test only takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Step 4: Pick an interesting career in agriculture
Now that you've got your Holland Code category sorted, check out the "students" section of the thinkAG website to browse career options for each code.
For example, if you scored highly on "Persuade," spend some time on the Persuade section, reading about ag-related careers including agronomist, lawyer, or food services manager. Rated highly on "Think?" You might make an excellent veterinarian or vet tech, food scientist, or environmental technician!
You may want to poke around a bit and see what the different categories have to offer. Ultimately though, you'll pick one of the six — whichever fits you best — and focus on it for your application.
Step 5: Fill out the idea generation form
Next up is the idea generation form: a series of short questions to help you sort out your ideas. You'll be brainstorming away, weighing your options in different fields, so the idea generation form will help you stay organized.
It's worth taking your time with this step: don't just rush through it! Try to be as thoughtful as possible, as the answers you submit here could be used as a tie-breaker between top applicants! Get messy to start, tossing off ideas as they come to you, but be sure to refine your thoughts as you go.
Step 6: Research time
Now, the real research begins! In the next step, you'll answer a handful of questions. Make sure to do some reading first so you have your facts in order. snapAG offers a resource library to help you get started, but you can use any scholarly sources you like to dig into these topics!
Maybe you're concerned about animal welfare in agriculture? You can read all about current practices and standards. Not satisfied? Maybe you could be part of positive change in the future! Dig into whichever topics catch your interest.
Step 7: Answer three questions
Time to put your research to work. You'll need to answer three questions. Try to be clear and concise in your writing, while letting your personality shine through. Here are the three questions:
- 1. Which Holland Code(s) or interest area(s) does your chosen career fit into? (Remember, the six interest areas are listed above, ranging from Realistic (doers) to Conventional (organized).
- 2. How does this career align with your interests?
- 3. How can this career positively impact sustainability, both locally and globally?
Use your research findings to support your conclusions. Referencing specific details, rather than general assertions, will go a long way toward impressing the scholarship adjudicators.
Here are a few prompt ideas to help stimulate your thinking:
- Does this career help advance environmental efforts, like climate change and carbon neutrality?
- Does this career enhance eco-friendly agriculture?
- How does this career make a difference in making local and seasonal foods available?
- How does this career support animal welfare in farming practices?
- Does this career work to increase food security or nutrition awareness?
- Does this career boost food accessibility?
Step 8: Choose your submission format
You have three different ways to share your findings. The goal is to show off your creativity, so choose the format that resonates the most with you.
- Option 1: Write an essay (1,500 words max)
- Option 2: Produce a video (3 minutes max)
- Option 3: Create a visual arts piece (with a written description of 300 words max)
- graphic design
- or architecture
Step 9: Fill out the media consent & release form
This one's easy! Read and complete the media release form. The form is pretty standard, allowing the scholarship admins to use your work to promote the scholarship and so on.
Step 10: Submit!
You've finally made it — time to submit your application. Before you finalize, take a few moments to review each of the steps laid out here, for your own peace of mind! Once you're satisfied with your work, finish off the application form.
Phew — you're done!
When is the DFC Here for Tomorrow scholarship deadline?
The deadline to submit your completed application is May 1, 2023, at 11:59 PM Central time. It never hurts to submit early, though, so when you're happy with your application, make sure you send it in before the May 1, 2023 deadline.
Canada's in need of agricultural professionals at every level of the food chain. No matter your interests, you're sure to find an avenue to explore in the world of Canadian agriculture. The DFC Here for Tomorrow scholarship is one small part of the puzzle — but for the five scholarship recipients, it could be huge!
You can make an impact on sustainable farming at the local and national levels. The DFC Here for Tomorrow scholarship exists to support you.
Have questions? Please contact AITC-C's thinkAG Project Co-ordinator Morgan MacTavish at firstname.lastname@example.org for help. Best of luck to all applicants!
Apply now for a DFC Here for Tomorrow scholarship