Assiniboine’s Alumni Association celebrates 45 years of ag with new campaign

January 17, 2024 | Community News

BRANDON, Man. (January 16, 2024)— Assiniboine Community College’s Alumni Association is proud to be celebrating 45 years of agriculture and related programming and the alumni of these programs. At an alumni event held during Manitoba Ag Days, the Alumni Association launched a fundraising campaign aimed at connecting the alumni in support of the Prairie Innovation Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

The campaign, Alumni for PIC – Celebrating 45 Years of Ag, encourages graduates from all programs to pay it forward to the next generation of students coming through the Russ Edwards School of Agriculture and Environment.

“Being an alumni comes with an immense amount of pride,” said Rhonda Oakden, Campaign Co-Chair and Agribusiness graduate (Class of 1997). “The possibilities for an enriching, successful career in agriculture are limitless for students graduating from Assiniboine and entering the ag industry. Help give future students the outstanding educational experience you had in your time at Assiniboine.”

Agriculture contributes 62,000 jobs to the economy here in Manitoba. By 2029, it’s expected that one in three ag jobs will go unfilled. With this growing labour gap, the Alumni Association felt called to connect with alumni to help shape the future of ag education and innovation in Manitoba.

“We believe that what we do now as alumni impacts the future of not only Assiniboine’s students, but also the ag industry, an important sector for our province” said Alumni Relations Coordinator, Lisa Huston. “Assiniboine is poised to play a vital leadership role in charting the future of agriculture in Manitoba and Canada. As proud Assiniboine alumni myself, it is exciting to be part of a project that is shaping the future of ag education here in Manitoba.”

The college launched the Prairie Innovation Centre campaign in 2019 and has increased its fundraising goal twice, from $10 to 15 million, and just this week surpassed the latest $20 million goal. The Edwards School, named in 2022 for Russ Edwards, will find its home in the planned Prairie Innovation Centre at the North Hill campus in Brandon.

“With your contribution, the Prairie Innovation Centre project will propel the college to be able to provide students with the connections, skills, training and resources needed to meet the labour demands our evolving industry is facing,” said Evan Keller, Campaign Co-Chair and Agribusiness graduate (Class of 2004).For more information on the Alumni for PIC – Celebrating 45 Years of Ag campaign, visit

About Assiniboine Community College

Assiniboine Community College has been providing exceptional learning experiences for more than 60 years, offering unparalleled learning environments and responding to the demands and requirements of the Manitoba labour market. Following the philosophy of “learn by doing,” programs combine theory with hands-on learning inside classrooms, labs, kitchens, shops, fields and the college’s Sustainable Greenhouse.

Assiniboine offers more than 60 certificate, diploma and post-graduate programs across a variety of disciplines including culinary arts and hospitality, business, agriculture and environment, health and human services, and trades and technology. The college also delivers apprenticeship programming in a range of skilled trades disciplines.

The college welcomed more than 3,700 full-time and 6,000 part-time students last year. With campuses in Brandon, Dauphin, Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Assiniboine provides comprehensive educational opportunities throughout Manitoba. The college also partners with many communities and organizations across the province to deliver customized education and training. Assiniboine’s annual provincial economic impact is $612 million. In the most recent survey of graduates, nine months after graduation, 94 per cent were employed, with 94 per cent remaining in Manitoba.

Assiniboine Community College campuses are located on the traditional territories of Treaty No. 1 and Treaty No. 2, the shared traditional lands of Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene and Anishinabek/Ojibwe peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge their welcome to the students who seek knowledge here.

For more information, please contact:
Kyla Cottom
Communications Specialist
Assiniboine Community College
204.725.8700 ext 6043