March 24, 2021

Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship Program Supports Industry's Future

Canadian Western Agribition's Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship Program welcomed the newest group of eight young agriculture leaders today.  This program matches young leaders in the agriculture industry with experienced professionals who provide them with skills and experiences to advance their careers.  The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan committed $100,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support this intake of mentees.

"Canada's young people are key to the future success of our agricultural sector," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  "The government is working hard to ensure our youth are able to play an active role in building a stronger and more prosperous sector.  The Next Gen program creates leadership development opportunities to give the future agriculture leaders the skills and experience they need to contribute and make a difference in our industry."

"Canadian Western Agribition's Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship program provides young industry leaders with valuable skills that will help them advance their careers and share the story of how our producers create safe, high-quality food," Agriculture Minister David Marit said.  "I want to congratulate Canadian Western Agribition on matching their third intake of mentees with mentors and thank them for their efforts to engage young people."

The successful mentees and mentors chosen to participate in this intake are:

  • Alexandra Clarke, paired with Gerry Hertz 
  • Sandra Hessdorfer, paired with Sara Shymko
  • Megan Roger, paired with Brett Halstead
  • Morgan Follensbee, paired with Kim Keller
  • Blaine Lamontagne, paired with Danny Petty
  • Grayson Berting, paired with Joe Barnett
  • Ryan Garbarczyk, paired with Shelley Jones
  • Anna Karlsson, paired with Heather Deobald

The Next Gen Program is an agricultural mentorship program for future leaders in Saskatchewan delivered by Canadian Western Agribition (CWA).  The program accepts eight applicants into an 18-month mentorship experience.  Mentees are paired with some of the strongest leaders in Canadian agriculture.  During their mentorship, mentees will gain industry knowledge, board and governance training, business education and networking opportunities.

"It's been a pleasure watching the Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship program grow and CWA is proud to be part of the success of our industry's future," CWA President Chris Lees said.  "Already, graduates from the program are filling leadership roles in agriculture all over the province."

This project is supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.  This includes a $388-million investment in strategic initiatives for Saskatchewan agriculture.

More information about the program is available online at