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Innovative AgriBusiness Leader To Address Ridgetown Campus Graduates

on May 27 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

From a release 

The 62nd Spring Graduation at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, will be held on Friday, June 6, 2014 with Jim Campbell, General Manager, AGRIS Co-operative as the graduation speaker.

The 256 graduands at Ridgetown are completing diploma or certificate programs in Agriculture, Horticulture, Environmental Management, Veterinary Technology, Performance Horse Handler, and Veterinary Office Administration and will be gathering in the Rudy H. Brown Rural Development Centre to celebrate with family, friends and classmates.

Graduates finishing the Agriculture Diploma program, the largest academic program at the campus, have several opportunities for employment and many will go to work either in agribusiness or at their family farm business. Students in several programs finished their last academic semester with an industry work placement that often leads to their first industry job.

“I’m thrilled to recognize Ridgetown Campus’ most recent cohort of graduating students. I know they will go on to make significant contributions in their careers and in the communities in which they live,” said Rob Gordon, Dean, Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). “They join a strong network of Ridgetown Campus, OAC and University of Guelph alumni supporting the future of our agriculture and food industries here in Ontario and across the globe.”

“I see graduation day as a milestone celebration as these individuals move from students to alumni, and begin to make their mark wherever they may be headed,” stated Ken McEwan, Campus Director.

The Class of 2014 has selected Gerard Van Den Boogaart of Gorrie, Ontario to deliver the valedictorian address. Gerard is an Agriculture Diploma student who grew up on a cash crop and farrow-to-finish swine operation. He is currently employed for the summer at Pioneer Hi-Bred Production’s parent canola seed plant near Wingham, Ontario as a Production Technician. This fall, Gerard plans to further his studies at the University’s Guelph campus where he is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program.

Jim Campbell, General Manager, AGRIS Co-operative, Chatham, will address the graduates. Campbell has a passion for agriculture. He grew up on a local farm, and then completed an undergraduate and masters of business administration before he began his successful agribusiness career. Through Jim’s leadership, AGRIS Co-operative now services over 1,200 farmer-owners at 14 facility locations throughout Kent, Essex, Lambton, Elgin and Middlesex counties.

Prior to the 1:45 p.m. student procession and graduation ceremony, a special Donor Appreciation Luncheon will be hosted to celebrate the on-going support of campus award donors. Awards for academic proficiency and student leadership will be presented to a number of graduates.

“We are very fortunate to have the financial support from our alumni, community friends and many local businesses,” says McEwan. “This year, approximately $22,500 will be awarded to many deserving students.”

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