United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (“UFA”) together with Olds College are pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 UFA Student Pitch Competition, Styn Nieuwenhuis. 

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UFA and Olds College Announce the Pitch Competition Winner!

2022 UFA Student Pitch Competition

United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (“UFA”) together with Olds College are pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 UFA Student Pitch Competition, Styn Nieuwenhuis. 

“It was not an easy decision, all of the ideas were so impressive,” says Kevin Hoppins, UFA Board Chair. “We would like to thank all the semi-finalists; Abbey Taylor, Julie Cobb, Lauren McKamey, Styn Nieuwenhuis, and Jasmine Bartelen who obviously have been hard at work developing their pitches over the past three months,” he adds. 

This year marks the third UFA Student Pitch Competition with Olds College and the competition is part of the five-year innovation partnership between UFA and Olds College. 

“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 Kim MacDonald, UFA Community Investment Manager. “Together we are exploring ways to address real issues and challenges facing agriculture, and specifically our members and customers.”

Following the announcement, competition winner Styn Nieuwenhuis said: 

"I feel very honoured to win this event and would like to congratulate the hard work of the other participants as well. I would like to thank Wendy Muise and Brandy Old for the mentoring and pitch practice, as well as the staff at Olds College and UFA who made this event into a reality. I am fortunate to have the ability for this hands-on learning opportunity that was organized by the College along with UFA. I look forward to working with UFA to collaborate on ventures that will assist in creating a more innovative and regenerative agricultural industry!"

To read more about the competition and the semi-finalists visit UFA.com.

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 the 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 Pitch Competition is the final component of UFA Innovation Day.

"Our continued partnership with UFA is a perfect example of how industry partnerships provide a positive impact on Olds College students by facilitating exceptional learning experiences,” says Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “Our students get to explore new ideas, test innovative products and processes, engage with exceptional mentors, and express their entrepreneurial creativity to advance all aspects of the agriculture industry. Initiatives, such as UFA Innovation Day, prove that our students — the next generation of bright minds — have the talent, knowledge and thought leadership to make a positive impact on Alberta’s agriculture sector. Days like this prove that we are working towards Olds College’s social purpose of transforming agriculture for a better world.”

Hoppins says the donation makes sense not only as an agricultural co-operative 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. These young leaders are transforming agriculture for the better and we are so proud to be a part of it.”