Last week, I received an email from my Dean, Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn, which instantly made 2022 better than 2021. She was conveying the news to me that she had met with the College of Agriculture and Bioresources Agriculture Students Association (ASA) from the University of Saskatchewan and that the ASA notified her that I was the 2022 recipient of their Professor of the Year Award. Receiving this award is an incredible honour! I was walking on clouds for the next few days!
In my opinion, there is no more prestigious award for a professor to receive than one from their students acknowledging their skills and abilities. I would never have fathomed that my students would think so highly of me as they do. With all my heart, I thank the students in the College of Agriculture and Bioresearch and the ASA for bestowing me with this award. It is truly the highlight of the year!
Agriculture is my passion. This passion drives my research program, resulting in it being very productive. My passion for all things innovative about agriculture is also present in the classroom as I use the evidence from my research program and that from other academics, to push and challenge students to think about new things, new ways of doing things, and new challenges.
There is no way I would have received this award if it wasn’t for the great students I teach. While many classrooms are simply one-way communication flows, I encourage two-way communication channels. I’ve been amply rewarded by this method as I learn a great deal from my students, especially regarding how millennials view agriculture, the environment and food production. Their questions and comments improve my teaching and communication skills, making each term of teaching better than the previous one.
The best part of my job as a university professor is getting to know the students that are going to be our future farmers and future ag sector leaders. At the end of each term, having gotten to know a new group of students, I’m filled with confidence and amazement. The confidence results from learning how smart and passionate the women and men are that will be entering the ag industry. The amazement comes from seeing just how skilled, insightful and innovative they are. Without a doubt, the future of the agriculture industry is in good hands.
Thank you again for awarding me such an incredible honour. It has been my pleasure to teach such incredible classes of students. I look forward to teaching as many of you as is possible.