Student Success

Aggies take Grow the Future Gala online, raise $10,000 to donate to local non-profit organization Ag for Life

The Grow the Future Gala could not be held in person this spring, so the University of Lethbridge Agricultural Students’ Society (The Aggies) went online and still managed to raise $10,000 to donate to the local non-profit organization Agriculture for Life.

The Aggies donated $10,000 to Ag for Life. Pictured from left to right are Christine Suominen (gala committee head), Sydelle Zukowski (outgoing president) and Julia McCrae (incoming president).

The Aggies annually present their Grow the Future Gala, an event designed to bring together students and industry while raising money for a non-profit organization of the club’s choice. The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to all in-person events, but it did not deter The Aggies and with support from multiple sponsors and donors, they were able to still achieve a substantial donation.

“We are honoured to have the support of the Ag Club at the University of Lethbridge,” says Agriculture for Life CEO Luree Williamson. “Through their generous donation we will continue to develop, expand and offer high quality educational programming to Albertans. The funds they raised will help further our mission of educating and inspiring people of all ages about the importance of agriculture and pursuing a sustainable, safe and healthy future. It is their support that sustains our mission and makes all the difference and we are extremely grateful."

One of the handmade items sold online in support of the Aggies.

Since its founding in 2011, Agriculture for Life (Ag for Life) has played a vital role in educating Albertans about agriculture, food, farming and safety. Working in collaboration with agriculture and education communities, Ag for Life develops, expands and offers hands-on educational programming to children, youth and adults throughout the province and beyond via virtual learning classrooms and other digital assets.

Ag for Life is made possible through the funding and commitment of companies that employ almost 20,000 people in more than 350 Alberta communities. Founding members include AdFarm, Glacier FarmMedia, Nutrien Ltd., Rocky Mountain Equipment, TC Energy and UFA Co-operative Limited.

The Aggies, who were led by an all-female executive this year, were named University of Lethbridge Students’ Union Club of the Year. In addition to their fundraising work, which also included the annual Barn Burner fundraiser, The Aggies sent members to participate in industry nights, seminars, industry tours and multiple volunteer opportunities. The group also hosted its annual Ag Awareness Day in conjunction with Canadian Ag Day.

“This was another amazing year for the club, and although we were unable to host our Gala, I’m so proud of how the club and so many wonderful donors and sponsors came together to support Ag for Life,” says Aggie President, Sydelle Zukowski. “Special thanks to the gala committee headed by Christine Suominen who, along with the many donors and sponsors, were instrumental in bringing the online auction to life and ensuring we were still able to show our support for the community upon the Gala cancellation.”

Partners for the event included Farm Credit Canada and Decisive Farming. Agvocate Sponsors included Gouw Quality Onions Ltd., Lethbridge County, and LHT Logistics Inc. Booster Sponsors consisted of Perlich Bros., Jones Creek Livestock Consulting Ltd., Corteva Agriscience, and Northside Farm Ltd. Silent Auction donors were AFSC, RBC, Lantic Sugar, Rustic Rose, John Deere/Western Tractor, MNP, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, and Coulee Crest Herefords. As well, handmade items were created and donated by Aggie club members Laura Haenni, Ashley Owen and Julia McCrae.

For more information on The Aggies, or to join the Industry Contact list, email