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University of Guelph student aims to help feed the future

Allison Visser, a fourth-year student in the Honours Agriculture program at the University of Guelph, hopes to connect people to agriculture 'by educating them on where their food comes from'
Allison Visser is the first ever recipient of the Canadian Feed Your Future scholarship.

A University of Guelph student is the recipient of the first ever Canadian Feed Your Future scholarship.

Allison Visser, a fourth-year student in the agriculture program at the Ontario Agricultural College, hopes to connect people to agriculture “by educating them on where their food comes from.” 

“I am going to feed the world with my talent by promoting sustainable practices that will allow producers to earn consumer trust and remain productive and profitable into the future, and by leveraging all available food sources, along with reducing food waste to increase global food security,” Visser wrote in her application essay for the competition.

No matter how large these goals might seem, the 22 year old is determined to help make a difference.  

"These are important issues in society today, especially food waste,” Visser said.

“For me, it’s important to try and deal with these issues individually, but I do hope that one day I can help in implementing policies that will help with food waste.”

Visser grew up on her family dairy farm in Blue Mountain. Agriculture as always been a part of her life.

“My opa moved from the Netherlands and started a farm in the 1960’s. My dad took over. I have worked on the farm my whole life,” Visser said.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in agriculture. I love the industry and all aspects of it. And I like all of the different animals too, especially dairy cows. They are what I grew up with.”

Visser says she was excited to hear of her win, that includes a scholarship of $1,000, presented by

 “I really didn’t expect it. In the application, I talked about my goals. Many of them are big scale issues regarding food waste and food security, but I think that getting this award emphasizes the fact that yes, these are seen as valuable points and issues that I am passionate about,” Visser said.

Visser says that the issue of food security is something that has always been in the back of her mind.

“How can we deal with this issue? It’s great that we have these standards for food safety, but at the same time, it creates a lot of food waste,” Visser said. “What are the ways that we can use this wasted food or diverted food to help improve food insecurity and allow everyone access to food and nutrition?”

Visser grew up with three siblings. All continue to be interested in farming, but in different ways.

“I think my family is happy about this. They have always been supportive, no matter what it is that I want to pursue. But for me, agriculture, and any aspect of it, this is always what I’ve wanted to do,” Visser said.  

Visser says she’s not sure what the future might hold, but agriculture will definitely be a big part of it.

“The honours agriculture major is very flexible, whether it’s animals or plants. It’s a bit of a mix,” she said.  

“I’ve done a few food processing courses which I find very interesting. As for the future, I’m still feeling things out. I think I want to farm, but I’m not certain yet.”

The Feed Your Future scholarship supports post-secondary students in Canada who are studying agriculture or who intend to pursue an agricultural career.  

The scholarship is part of’s initiative, also called Feed Your Future, that helps American and Canadian agricultural organizations in recruiting, training and connecting with individuals.