Alumni honoured for service to agricultural community
The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences recently honoured two Manitobans for their outstanding contributions to Manitoba’s agricultural community.
Marlene Baskerville, tireless volunteer, and Kelly Beaulieu, food processing entrepreneur, received Certificates of Merit from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the recent School of Agriculture convocation in recognition of leadership with agricultural organizations and outstanding service to the community at large.
Marlene grew up on a small family farm near Rosenfeld, MB, and received her teaching diploma from the Manitoba Teacher’s College. She taught Grade 4 in Steinbach, however, a moment of inspiration led her to the University of Manitoba where she earned her Bachelor of Home Economics (Honours) in 1970. Marlene was hired by the Manitoba Department of Agriculture in Boissevain, MB, where she was the Home Economist. From there she moved to Winnipeg as the Agriculture Curriculum Specialist until 2012. She was also the Acting Superintendent of Agricultural Societies for a number of these years.
Since she has retired, she finds herself busier than ever and enjoying it. Marlene is currently working as the Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Agricultural Societies, the provincial advisory board for the 59 Agricultural Societies in Manitoba. Volunteer work is a big part of her life. Marlene serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She also sits on the Board of Directors with the Red River Exhibition Association, one of Manitoba’s largest agricultural societies, where she is Finance Chair.
For more than 25 years, she has been involved in the Manitoba 4-H program, as a member, a leader, a parent, a departmental staff person, and again most recently returning as a leader. She is currently co-leading the University of Manitoba Future Leaders 4-H Club where members participate in leadership development activities and programs to help them prepare for their careers in the agricultural industry.
Kelly Beaulieu grew up on a farm near Portage la Prairie, MB, and attended the University of Manitoba, completing a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English and History in 1987 and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1991. Following graduation, Kelly worked in various plant science positions at the University of Manitoba, Manitoba Pool Elevators, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Alberta Wheat Pool. She helped develop grain policy at the Canadian Wheat Board and managed research and development at Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.
In 2004 Kelly set out to pursue her own entrepreneurial projects under several agri-business companies. PB&C Agri-Tech Solutions Inc. develops technological solutions for the agricultural industry. As well, Kelly with her partners co-founded Canadian Prairie Garden Purees, a large-scale, commercial food processing business in Portage la Prairie which exports its products worldwide. Canadian Prairie Garden uses a state-of-the-art steam infusion cooking process to aseptically package fruit and vegetable puree for the food ingredients markets. Kelly has received numerous awards and recognition over the last few years including the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council’s Best Technology Innovation Award; Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance Award for Innovation; and the Manitoba Food Processors’ Association TASTE Award for Best New Product.
When she is not kept busy fostering the growth of a rapidly expanding business, Kelly is active in showing horses, cattle, show dogs and show cats. Kelly is also proud of her heritage as a status Ojibwa associated with Sandy Bay First Nation and has given her time to encouraging youth participation in their career decision-making activities, to encouraging young entrepreneurs with mentoring for Innovate Manitoba, and to promoting Manitoba’s agriculture at the province’s Agriculture Awareness Day.