Feb. 2, 2015, Vancouver — Horticulture and business students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) now have access to a heavier crop of financial awards, thanks to significant new scholarships from a local greenhouse vegetable producer.
Windset Farms, located in Delta, will provide three new annual scholarships totaling $4,000 to promising horticulture and business students who owners John and Steven Newell hope will become the future of this vibrant and diverse industry.
“We believe students enrolled in Kwantlen’s programs can help us define the horticultural reality our children will inherit,” said John Newell.
Windset is a family farm – a term that conjures up images of tractors slowly lumbering across a field at sunset, perhaps with some cows lazing in the background.
But the process of delivering fresh produce to the table is actually a complex and technology-driven operation, notes Newell. That’s why the company is constantly encouraging its team to obtain new knowledge and stay on top of – and often lead – change.
With these financial awards, Windset is adding to its focus those who are not yet but could eventually become their employees, and those who will almost certainly contribute to the industry overall.
“In today’s information- and technology-based economy, post-secondary education not only benefits students but also our industry and society as a whole,” said Newell. “There are always new ways of growing produce and new technologies to manage farms better. By supporting these students, we hope they can help us achieve higher goals.”
Last year, at the School of Horticulture Annual Scholarships and Awards Celebration, students were presented with over $55,000 in industry donor awards.
“The addition of new awards and scholarships to our annual event is testament to the close links that the KPU School of Horticulture has nurtured with our extremely supportive industry partners, and shows how employers value the technical knowledge and overall employability skills of our best graduates,” said Gary Jones, co-chair of the School of Horticulture and instructor in the greenhouse vegetable production course.
At an industry event in Berlin in February last year, Windset Farms took the top spot, winning the award for World’s Best Tomato Grower.
“To hear that one of the world leaders in the greenhouse fresh produce industry is putting up these new awards is fantastic news for Kwantlen students and opens even further their future career opportunities,” Jones added.
Newell said the scholarships are a way to support the community that in turn supports Windset. The greenhouse grower’s produce is available at grocers throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
The $2,000 Windset Farms Greenhouse Horticulture Award will be presented to a graduate with the highest academic grades in the horticulture technology diploma program specializing in sustainable crop production.
Two $1,000 awards will also be presented:
• The Windset Farms Aspiring Greenhouse Graduate Award will go to a first-year student enrolled in the horticulture technology diploma program specializing in sustainable crop production.
• The Windset Farms Entrepreneur of the Year award will go to the graduate with the highest GPA in the BBA entrepreneurial leadership program.
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