Agriculture in Alberta has a bright future, supported by young Albertans who show outstanding community support, leadership and commitment to agriculture and rural Alberta.  

Agriculture Financial Services (AFSC) is proud to help foster that future by helping 4-H Alberta recognize deserving 4-H members with the Agriculture Financial Services 4-H Scholarship. To qualify, recipients must have been an Alberta 4-H member for a minimum of three years, showing outstanding community support; shown strong commitment to the 4-H program; and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher while enrolled in a post-secondary agriculture or agribusiness program.

This year, Paulina Wolswinkel, Kyle Crooymans and Kiara Porteous received this scholarship. AFSC is pleased to help support the post-secondary goals of these three young Albertans and is committed to supporting 4-H Alberta and its members.

Paulina Wolswinkel 

I was a member of the Red Deer West 4-H Beef Club for seven years. In that time, I had market steer projects, attended various 4-H camps, and took part in several volunteering activities. I learned countless skills during my time in the club, most importantly public speaking, running meetings, and communicating effectively with others.

Many of my fondest memories also come from the program, as I got to know other youth in agriculture that I likely otherwise never would have met. Many of these people have remained close friends and have helped me broaden my network in the agricultural community.

4-H also contributed to my love of cattle, which steered me toward my current career path. I am in my second year of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Calgary and hope to become a large animal vet once I graduate. As challenging as this degree has been, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, and I am so grateful for the role 4-H played in getting me here.

Kyle Crooymans 

I grew up on a grain farm in southern Alberta and was active in my local 4-H club at a young age. I was a member for 10 years in the North 40 Mile 4-H Club. I had a market steer project, and raised and showed Red or Black Angus.

4-H is important to me in many ways because I learned many valuable skills such as organization, public speaking and budgeting. A fond memory from 4-H is attending summer camp, which was always a highlight. I met many people across the province that I am still friends with today. Some other aspects that I liked about 4-H were volunteering and fundraising. I enjoyed taking part in the community and giving back.

I am studying civil engineering at the University of Alberta. I am in my third year and upon graduation, I hope to find a career in the agriculture industry through means of environmental consulting. As agriculture expands in Alberta, new land is being developed and I hope to use my knowledge and skills to contribute.

Kiara Porteous 

I was an active member of the Generations of Tomorrow 4-H Multi Club for nine years. It concentrates on projects that members can, as families, plan, arrange and complete on their own from start to finish. The goal was for the members to develop strong leadership skills through this process, under our Creative Options Project. Other projects I also completed included: Quilting, Goat Record Book, and Exploring 4-H.

In 2019, I was the Key Member for the Cactus Country District and in 2021, I was selected to be an ambassador for the south region. This position helps me promote 4-H within the entire province by showing the 4-H way of life and encouraging members how to continue to “Learn to Do by Doing”.

4-H has be an integral part of my life and has provided me with key skills that will carry forward into my future. Most importantly, it provided me with opportunities to enhance my leadership and communication skills and learn how to properly conduct a business meeting. In turn, these skills are helping me with my post-secondary schooling and my positions in the agricultural industry. As a Senior member, I attended provincial events where I have also been able to broaden my current network. This led me to become a 4-H Ambassador and continue to help with tomorrow’s youth.

In 2022, I received my Agricultural Management Diploma majoring in AgriCommerce from Olds College. I am enrolled in my first year at Lakeland College in their Agricultural Sustainability Diploma Program. After completing this diploma, I plan to be involved in the agricultural industry, predominantly with cattle, where I can use both my livestock background and my passion for public speaking to help promote the agricultural industry.