Seed World

Anya Illingworth Represents a New Generation of Youth Making a Difference

Anya Illingworth is the winner of the CSAAC annual $500 grant for post-secondary education in agriculture.
Krista Erickson
CSAAC Executive Director

The winner of this year’s CSAAC annual $500 grant for post-secondary education in agriculture is Anya Illingworth of North Battleford, Sask. Anya is a Grade 12 student at John Paul II Collegiate and has been accepted into the College of Agriculture and Bioresources — Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. After obtaining her degree she hopes to work in some form of agricultural extension such as educating elementary students about agriculture through school programs or by becoming an agrologist in the farm sector.

Illingworth grew up on a pedigreed seed farm and was very involved in harvest operations. Her references emphasized how very passionate she is about agriculture. She has a GPA of 4.0 and has been on the honour roll with distinction throughout high school. She is very involved in her high school through the student council, senior basketball and the JP II Mission Team.

The Saskatchewan Potash Corporation awarded her a full scholarship for her mission trip to Kenya to work on agricultural sustainability. She is involved in the community helping at a homeless shelter, food bank and volunteering to help at fundraising suppers for many things, including emergency services.

Illingworth is a very deserving recipient of the 2018 CSAAC annual $500 grant. We wish Anya all the best as she reaches for her goals.

Anya Illingworth: 4 Questions

How did growing up on a seed farm make you into who you are today?

Growing up on a seed farm shaped me into a hard-working and passionate person. Always being outside and working hands-on in the field made me develop a love for nature and a desire to take care of the land to the best of my ability. I developed an immense passion for agriculture, and quickly discovered my purpose was to ensure that our earth continues on sustainably. I learned how to work hard and this taught me determination and persistence. I believe one of my strongest influences growing up on a seed farm was the sense of community. I saw how farmers were always willing to drop whatever they were doing to help others in need, and I believe this has shaped me into a kind and helpful person.

What’s the one major difference you hope to make in agriculture?

In our society there is a huge division between food and fork, meaning there is a lack of communication between farmers and consumers. I hope to make a difference by educating people around the world about agricultural practices and share the love that I have for agriculture. With the use of education and communication, together we can create a sustainable future with trust between consumers and producers.

What’s the biggest challenge you feel agriculture faces right now and how can we fix that?

Sustainability is an immense challenge the agriculture industry faces every day. The struggle to find agricultural practices that create a sustainable food source and environment is difficult when economic and ecological factors are involved. I believe a way that we can fix the challenge of sustainability is by using new technologies like gene editing and continuing research on more sustainable practices such as low tillage.

Are you a glass is half-full or glass is half-empty person and why?

I am a glass half-full person, as I often see the positive side of things and enjoy what I have. I am optimistic about the future of agriculture and trust that this powerful industry will do great things to enhance our world. The challenges that the agriculture industry is currently facing provide opportunity for creativity and growth among our society, and these opportunities are something that should be embraced.