There is a lot of energy surrounding the Advancing Ag program as it continues to grow.

Marissa Gehlert and B. Pratyusha Chennupati are two of this year’s participants in the program that pairs industry leaders with farmers and industry professionals.

Chennupati say it’s allowed her to gain knowledge outside of her skill set.

“One of the four things that I was looking forward to learning more about from the program was regulatory and public affairs and intellectual property rights and business strategy because I believe all four elements go hand in hand for any business to be successful,” says Chennupati.

She adds she wanted to learn the perspective of a new policy, as well as build on her blind-spots and weaknesses.

“Since I moved here from Montreal to Calgary, about two and a half years ago, so I don’t have a huge network here, so this program is a great way to expand my network with industry network leaders here in Western Canada.”

Gehlert says it was an easy decision to join.

“I was really looking for a way to push myself, expand my career, expand my network, looking for a mentorship relationship, someone that could take my goals and align theirs with mine and really just support me in that journey of growing my career in ag,” says Gehlert.

The program is put on by the Alberta Barley and Wheat Commissions.

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Chennupati say she has really taken a lot away from being able to connect with her fellow mentees.

“One of the things that I have learned from fellow mentees was that we were that are not looking for the same professional interests but at the same time they’re learning a different aspect.”

She says when they catch-up they learn all sorts of things from each other that they have picked up from their mentors and experiences.

Gehlert says she has grown a lot in the program.

“So far I have attended quite a few industry events with my mentor and on my own. The last one I did was the Combine to Customer program with the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI), which was an awesome experience.

She says it has allowed her to expand her network, create learning opportunities and build career relationships.

Both Gehlert and Chennupati presented at the Rural Roots Canada Ag Day in Olds on Friday, March 1.

The deadline for registering for the program is March 29.

For more on the Advancing Ag program and to register click here.

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