Kids who grow up in the rural farm lifestyle often follow two paths — one involving agriculture and one far away from it.
For Bashaw area resident Alyssa Henderson, she’s focused on maintaining the direction put in front of her from before she could walk.
“I’m presently at the University of Alberta in pre-vet studies that will take me toward a degree in animal science,” said Henderson, who lives southeast of Bashaw though went to high school in Stettler.
“Having grown up on a farm, we had some horses and now into beef. I always kind of liked animals and now have a particular interest in large animals, which I’m hoping to stay involved with through this career.”
Given the accolades Henderson has received so far this year, it would be more than fair to suggest she will succeed and do well with her choice. She was the 2017 4-H Alberta Premier’s Award recipient back in May and was recently named one of 65 winners of a $1,500 Monsanto Fund Opportunity Scholarship.
“You could say I was ecstatic and honoured with the Premier’s Award as it’s among the highest achievements a member can get in 4-H. It was a pretty proud moment and surprising as well, since there were only seven of us up for it and I thought everyone did very well and a had a good chance,” she stated.
Henderson began 4-H in Clive before going to New Norway, followed by some time in Bashaw and the past few years with the Central Lacombe Beef Club.
With the Premier’s Award, Henderson met Alberta Premier Rachel Notley plus Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Oneil Carlier, and will be part of the 2018 4-H selections and leadership weekend in addition to participating in various other events on behalf of 4-H Alberta.
As for the scholarship, she was surprised at being selected, especially since it’s such a large pool of first year agriculture and agri-food post-secondary students who are eligible.
“While 65 scholarships seem like a lot, when you look at how many people take agriculture or food related education studies there is quite a big pool to draw from,” she said, noting she found the opportunity by looking for various scholarships online.
“The process meant filling out the application, providing my transcripts along with a short essay and a few recommendation letters, though I was still a bit surprised but happy.”
Despite being in Edmonton, Henderson won’t be changing a whole lot about her life — other than homework.
“Things are going well and it certainly is a change from high school since there is a lot more homework involved. You think Grade 12 is tough, but then you get to university. However, as long as you stay on top of things and are aware of what’s going on it will all work out,” she stated, adding her favourite class right now is equine science.
“I’m very much interested in horses, and since I have my own, I’m finding it very interesting and useful especially given my aspirations. I will be coming home most weekends and I plan on doing 4-H again this year, so this way I can feed and work with my animals.”