Winners announced in agriculture National Business Case Competition

April 1, 2022

Post-secondary students from ten institutions took part in inaugural Growing Our People competition.

OTTAWA (April 1, 2022) – The Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC), in partnership with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is pleased to announce the winning team in the inaugural Growing Our People: National Business Case Competition at a virtual event March 30, 2022. This program was made possible through the support of the Government of Canada.

The successful team consisted of Emily Gibson (University of Guelph), Styn Nieuwenhuis (Olds College), and Partha Saha (College of the North Atlantic) who presented a well-articulated approach to the real-world business problem provided by Vianna Farms of Alberta. Overall, students from ten post-secondary institutions across Canada took part in the competition.

“Programs like Growing Our People provide unique opportunities for post-secondary students to explore rewarding careers in Canadian agriculture,” said Jennifer Wright, Acting Executive Director at CAHRC. “These students, often coming from outside agriculture, are the future of Canada and their new skills and fresh ideas are a tremendous opportunity for agriculture as a whole.”

Under-represented groups, such as women, newcomers, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities were particularly encouraged to take part in the competition, as their unique perspectives are what is needed in agriculture. While the primary agriculture industry is already facing significant labour gaps, CAHRC research indicates that in 2017, 16,500 jobs went unfilled in Canada’s agriculture sector, costing the sector $2.9 billion in lost revenues, or 4.7 per cent of product sales. This same research forecasts the sector’s labour gap will nearly double over the next 10 years, reaching 123,000 people by 2029.

Prize funds were generously donated by the Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CABEF). CABEF awards scholarships annually to Canadian students who are entering or currently pursuing an agricultural-related program full-time at a Canadian college, university, or apprenticeship (trade) institution.

 “We are very appreciative of the support we received from CABEF as well as post-secondary institutions across Canada,” added Ms. Wright. “The participating students demonstrated remarkable insights in the case submissions. Agriculture will be a fortunate field with them in our workforce.”

CAHRC will be running the next iteration of the Growing our People National Business Case Competition in fall 2022. Full details will be distributed closer to that time but for more information on participating contact Nadee Imran, AgriTalent Program Manager at Growing Our People is part of a suite of programs aimed at introducing post-secondary students to rewarding careers in Canadian agriculture. Find out more at:

About the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) works with industry leaders, governments and educational stakeholders to research, develop and communicate solutions to the challenges in employment and skills development in primary agriculture. For more information visit


For more information

Lindsey Ehman
Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council