UFA and Olds College Announce the 2021 Student Pitch Competition Winner

Group of finalist and judges at the UFA Innovation Day Pitch Competition

United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (“UFA”) together with Olds College are pleased to announce Daniel Stefner, with his pitch for Hopper Bottom Grain Flow Gauge, as the winner of 2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition. A second time participant in the UFA Student Pitch Competition, Stefner is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in AgriBusiness at Olds College and is from St. Albert, Alberta. 

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UFA and Olds College Announce the 2021 Student Pitch Competition Winner

UFA Supports Innovation in Agriculture at Olds College with the UFA Student Pitch Competition.

Calgary, Alberta – United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (“UFA”) together with Olds College are pleased to announce Daniel Stefner, with his pitch for Hopper Bottom Grain Flow Gauge, as the winner of 2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition. A second time participant in the UFA Student Pitch Competition, Stefner is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in AgriBusiness at Olds College and is from St. Albert, Alberta. 

UFA would like to thank all five semi-finalists; Daniel Stefner, Kenneth Deocampo, Lauren McKamey, Styn Nieuwenhuis and Tristen Norman who have been hard at work with industry mentors over the past six months. This is the second year of the UFA Student Pitch Competition as part of the five-year innovation partnership between United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Limited (“UFA”) and Olds College.Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Limited (“UFA”) and Olds College. 

"I am honoured to have been selected as the winner of the 2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition. This experience has been a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the product pitching process, whilst expanding my network of mentors and industry professionals," comments Daniel Stefner, Olds College Student. "I am really excited to work with UFA in continuing the development of my product, and working towards commercialization. I am very grateful for the help I received, and want to especially thank all of my mentors for their support, as well as Wendy Muise and Karla Petersen for their expertise and coaching. I also want to thank UFA and Olds College for creating this opportunity for students to participate in such a valuable learning experience."

Group of finalist and judges at the UFA Innovation Day Pitch Competition“We are committed to investing in opportunities for young minds to be bold, to collaborate and to research their ideas to advance the agriculture industry,” says Rob Giguere, Vice President, Livestock Services and Market Strategy at UFA. “Together we are facilitating engagement to address the issues and challenges facing agriculture and to produce more while using less.” 

Held on Tuesday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the “Dragons Den” style competition once again took place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual event consisted of the five semi-finalist pitching their ideas to a panel of judges from UFA. The judges then scored each presentation using select criteria, capping off the formal program with the announcement of the winning pitch by UFA President & CEO, Scott Bolton. 

The five-year financial commitment from UFA has enabled Olds College to create the UFA Innovation Lab, located on campus inside the Smart Ag Innovation Centre. In addition to the creation of the UFA Innovation Lab, the donation helps to fund the Olds College Smart Farm. The Smart Farm uses cutting edge technology to provide a hands-on learning environment for students of the College and an opportunity for industry to develop, integrate and test new agriculture technology and practices. The final piece of the partnership includes UFA Innovation Day, a day dedicated to recruiting the best and brightest future leaders in agriculture right from Olds College, the UFA Student Pitch Competition is the final component of UFA Innovation Day. 

"Our partnership with UFA is a wonderful example of how industry partnerships provide a positive impact on students by facilitating exceptional learning experiences,” says Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “Our students have a keen interest in solving issues that are currently facing the agriculture industry. Through initiatives like UFA Innovation Day, our students have an opportunity to explore new ideas, test innovative products and processes, engage with exceptional mentors and ultimately express their entrepreneurial creativity in ways that will make a positive impact on Alberta’s agriculture sector."

UFA President & CEO, Scott Bolton says the donation makes sense not only as an agricultural co-operative business but from a sustainability perspective. “The investment at Olds College is an example of how we are focused on collaborating with our agricultural partners to actively engage, learn from and work with young minds in our community. Students like Jean and the other semi-finalists are transforming agriculture for a better world and we are so proud to be a part of it.”