Scholarship winners bring the future of farm and food together

Monsanto Canada Inc. 10/13/2016

Like many young Canadians, Louis Ditner found his passion while working a part time job during high school. He has worked alongside the chef at Elmira, Ontario’s Never Enough Thyme catering for the past three years, where he demonstrated a real love for and knowledge of food. This year he is taking the next step in his journey to becoming a chef at Niagara College with the financial boost of a $1,500 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship.

Ditner is one of six students pursuing a career in nutrition or the culinary arts who join 61 agriculture students as recipients of the 2016 Opportunity Scholarships. To celebrate 25 years of the program and embrace the link between agriculture and food, the Monsanto Fund opened its scholarship criteria this year to include students raised on the farm or off, who have chosen to pursue post-secondary education in agriculture or food-related fields. According to his mentor, Ditner is a great candidate as someone who understands not only how to prepare delicious food but also appreciates how that food is produced.

"Louis Ditner has a passion for food in all its forms," Acheson, chef/owner of Never Enough Thyme, wrote in his reference letter. "The understanding of growing vegetables, making cheese, raising animals. From farm to table Louis respects and understands food unlike any young student or some chefs, for that matter."

Thousands of deserving students have received a total of more than $1.8 million since the program launched using corporate funds in 1991. Transition to the Monsanto Fund in 2012 has enabled more students to win scholarships due to consistent funding for the program.

"Our program is still primarily aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in agriculture," said Kelly Funke, public affairs manager with Monsanto Canada. "But we see food as an extension of agriculture. When the world is faced with the challenge of feeding an ever-growing population, it will take solutions from all parts of the ag and food sectors to do it. Maybe some of those ideas will come from these 67 amazing students."

All applications were reviewed by an independent judging panel comprised of: Robert Adamson, consultant and program director with Pembina Trails School Division; Sue Clayton, Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba Inc.; John Morriss, journalist, Farm Business Communications; Crystal Jorgenson, Communications Specialist for the Faculty of Agriculture and Food at the University of Manitoba; Ellen Pruden, Education and Promotion Manager for the Manitoba Canola Growers Association; and Brigitte Burgoyne, Communications and Digital Media Specialist, Richardson International.

Administered on behalf of the Monsanto Fund by Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba Inc. (AITC-M), the scholarship program received 157 applications from across Canada this year.

"Helping to choose these scholarship winners is a gratifying experience," said Sue Clayton, executive director of AITC-M. "As someone who is focused on agriculture education, I see farm and food intersecting all the time, and these young people are definitely making the connection."

Contact us for information on the stories of scholarship winners near you. Details on the launch of the 2017 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Program will be released in February 2017 and will also be available online at

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

About Monsanto Canada

Headquartered in Winnipeg, MB, Monsanto Canada Inc. is part of the larger global Monsanto Company. Monsanto is an agricultural company committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce a variety of seeds ranging from fruits and vegetables to key crops – such as corn, soybeans, canola and cotton – that help farmers produce abundant and nutritious food. We work 3

to find sustainable agriculture solutions that help farmers conserve natural resources, use data to improve farming practices, use water and other important resources more efficiently, and protect their crops from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

To learn more about Monsanto, please visit: or follow us on Twitter @MonsantoCda.

NOTE: The complete list of 2016 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship winners, by province, is included below.

For further information, please contact:

Kelly Funke
Monsanto Canada
(204) 985-1035


2016 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship Winners







Burl Piper

Dawson Creek, BC

Erik Anderson

Scandia, AB



Mattias Crooymans

Bow Island, AB



Paytten Fankhanel

New Norway, AB



Thomas Gabrielson

Rivercourse, AB



Emily Gross

Bow Island, AB



Hannah Hendrickson

Red Deer County, AB



Jenna Hodnefield

Bashaw, AB



David MacTaggart

Lacombe, AB



Megan McGlynn

Pincher Creek, AB



Erica Nelson

Rumsey, AB



Tracy Niggli

Milk River, AB



Megan Wanchuk

Milk River, AB



Kaitlyn Mills

Taber, AB



Sydelle Zukowski

Blackfields, AB

William Berry

Carievale, SK



Brooklyn Braun

Beechy, SK

Chantal Boonstra

Marquette, MB

Amy Carruthers

Frenchman Butte, SK

Noah de Rocquigny

St. Claude, MB

Sheldon Daniel

Avonlea, SK

Bailey Gitzel

Graysville, MB

Chelsey Fitzsimmons

Colonsay, SK

Lina Gordon

Franklin, MB

Allison Karstens

Wilkie, SK

Kevin Grenier

St. Léon, MB

Kaitlyn Kitzan

Theodore, SK

Hendrik Jonk

Bruxelles, MB

Ryan Krupski

Lemberg, SK

Jessica Mayes

Pierson, MB

Autumn Lawson

Rose Valley, SK

Mackenzie Miller

Oakville, MB

Michala Linklater

Redvers, SK

Mikayla Rouire

St. Claude, MB

Lacey Malone

Shaunavon, SK

Stephanie Stinson

Treherne, MB

Collin Montgrand

La Loche, SK

Emily Upgang

Poplar Point, MB

Mariah Nattress

Marsden, SK

Carter Watkins

Swan River, MB

Payton Wiebe

Osler, SK

Randi Wright

Portage la Prairie, MB

Coral Willness

Naicam, SK

Rebecca Zimmer

Russell, MB






Jacob Baelde

Brinston, ON

Matthew Elliot

Howick, QC

Thomas Bowman

Thornloe, ON

Marie-Pier Lachapelle

Malartic, QC

Pauline Cotter

Fort Erie, ON

Nicolas Marquis

St-Jean de Dieu, QC

Louis Ditner

Elmira, ON



Jenna Hedden

Beachburg, ON



Lauren Horst

St. Jacobs, ON



Elaine Jeffs

Campbellford, ON



Emily Kyle

Drumbo, ON

David Cooper

Great Village, NS

Zachary Lapointe

Embrun, ON

Hannah Facey

New Glasgow, NS

Casey McGee

Port Lambton, ON

Ella Lentz

Mt. Uniacke, NS

Rebecca Redner

Warkworth, ON

Meagan MacDiarmid

Napan, NB

Whitney Small

Wallacetown, ON

Therese McCurdy

Beaver Brook, NS

Michael Sullivan

Kinburn, ON



Timothy Vanderlinde

Camlachie, ON



Quinn Wilson

Harriston, ON