HQP Scholars address agri-food challenges through experiential learning

Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2022

Hannah Woodhouse, a woman with long dark hair, speaks into a microphone in front of a PowerPoint presentation with the event title "Cultivating business, innovation and leadership in agri-food research"
Hannah Woodhouse, 2021/22 HQP scholar, introduces the event

Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) scholars shared methods, solutions and lessons learned from their work on real-world challenges on Dec. 7 at an event at the University of Guelph Arboretum.

The experiential learning component of the HQP Scholarship Program, jointly funded by Food from Thought and the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs sees scholarship recipients apply critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills to seek a solution to a challenge presented by an industry or community partner.

Throughout the process, scholars work with Arrell Food Institute scholar peers and gain valuable experience that will help them become job-ready after graduating.

Group photo of the scholars who presented, along with Dr. Keith Warriner
HQP scholars from the 2021/22 cohort with Dr. Keith Warriner, HQP Scholarship Program Director, and Jeanna Rex, Education Coordinator, Arrell Food Institute

Five community and industry partners presented challenges to the 2021-22 cohort: Our Food Future was looking for a way to expand regenerative agriculture projects; De La Mer Fresh Fish Market sought more sustainable packaging; Livestock Research Innovation Corporation wanted recommendations for creating an effective knowledge transfer system among Ontario livestock producers; GoodLeaf farms wanted to study the environmental impact of its vertical farms; and the food skills group La Tablée des Chef wanted to increase enrollment in its Kitchen Brigade youth program.

See the project posters here.

HQP scholar Dharamdeo Singh
HQP Scholar Dharamdeo Singh
HQP Scholar Mylene Corzo Lopez
HQP scholar Mylene Corzo Lopez

The event also served to introduce the new 2022-23 cohort of HQP scholars, who were recognized for their achievements and introduced their research projects.

Meet the 2022-23 scholars and explore their projects here.

The HQP Scholarship Program funds master’s and PhD students who complete research that meets research priorities set out by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Students each bring expertise and experience from their field of study.

The 2022-23 cohort includes students with backgrounds in food and agribusiness management, plant breeding and genetics, veterinary pathology, and rural planning and development, to name a few.

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