Summer Synergy is one of the signature events from Olds Regional Exhibition and is a partnership with the Calgary Stampede.
It’s about giving youth in agriculture every opportunity available to become their own best – whatever that may be and it’s the largest youth Beef, Dairy & Sheep livestock and scholarship program in Canada.
Among the entries this year is Cache McLerie who lives on a ranch and entered the program with a Cow-Calf project.
“I had a great experience with Summer Synergy and got lots of scholarships,” explains the product of Innisfail, Alberta. “I think it’s a great program for young adults and youth to be in and will help in the future for schooling. For me I’m thinking about something in agriculture, a nutritionist.”
Another one of the scholarship recipients is Tyler Dietrich of Forestburg, a village in east-central Alberta.
He’s been involved in Summer Synergy for the past four years and has already put some of his scholarship dollars to work.
“I went to NAIT in Edmonton last year taking a graphic design course,” explains Dietrich. “I design farm signs, catalogs and promotional items for the cattle industry. It’s something I can do and still be involved with the cattle at home.”
But don’t expect Dietrich to stop there. He has bigger aspirations.
“If I win again this year I’d look to putting it towards something to do with the farm; an embryo transplant course,” says Dietrich. “Something to improve my herd and better my future in the cattle industry.”
For another one of this year’s participants Summer Synergy provided more than a chance at scholarships. It cultivated a friendship. You see Nolan Weaver of Claresholm didn’t have his sheep to compete with anymore. So he borrowed one off a friend he met at the show.
“My sheep was white with a black face,” recalls Weaver. “His name was White-Noise because he’s white and made a lot of noise. When I sold him he was 120 pounds and I got $5 a pound. He was pretty cool.”
For youth such as Weaver, Dietrich and McLerie not only do you enhance your agriculture skills through Summer Synergy and get the chance to meet a lot of new people but thanks to the many sponsors the financial opportunities are enormous.
Heading into 2015 over 352 thousand dollars in scholarships had been awarded to 310 of Summer Synergy’s 1,610 participants in just five years.