Meet the ’20 and ’21 grads (again) – Pete Giesbrecht
Catching up with our graduates ahead of Convocation Celebration on March 11
Pete Giesbrecht [DipAgric/20] had always wanted to attend university, following the path of his father who graduated from the UM diploma program almost 50 years ago. When his own youngest son went off to university a few years ago, it seemed like the right time to get his diploma too and he graduated from the School of Agriculture in 2020.
“Since graduating I’ve been given the opportunity to come back to UM and teach a plant science course to first year agriculture diploma students,” he says. “It was challenging at first, but I really enjoy it.”
Giesbrecht’s interest in plants stemmed long before he decided to come to UM. He grew up on a farm and has always enjoyed the ag lifestyle. He’s been building his own plant-breeding business for the past 13 years, which he has now turned into his full-time job.
“Protein Industries Canada helped fund a project which enabled me to expand my business into a commercial space with an indoor growth facility where I’m working to develop new field pea varieties.”
Prior to UM, Giesbrecht worked for almost 20 years in the ag industry. He says it was early on in his career when he worked for a company that was heavily involved in research and variety development that sparked his interest in where he wanted his career to take him.
“That interest only grew as time went on. I’m a very curious person, and I like doing research and exploring the intricacies of nature and creation so ag was just a natural fit for me.”
Coming back to UM as a teacher feels full circle for Giesbrecht, as being in the program himself has helped him understand his students. While it was great to complete his diploma, the most valuable thing to him is the connections and relationships he’s built. He’s looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate that at UM’s 2020 and 2021 Convocation Celebration.
“My wife really encouraged me to attend, and I want to celebrate with her and my kids. It will be a special moment for me and my family.”