Retired School of Agriculture director recognized for contributions to farm management excellence
Farm Management Canada recently held its annual Agricultural Excellence Conference where Michele Rogalsky was announced as the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Wilson Loree Award. Now in its twentieth year, the award honours individuals or groups who have made an extraordinary contribution to advancing farm business management in Canada.
Michele has dedicated her career to the advancement of agricultural education and training, retiring in 2022 from the University of Manitoba, School of Agriculture after 33 years of service. She spearheaded a critical revitalization of the two-year Diploma in Agriculture program, transforming the curriculum into one of the top applied farm management and production agriculture training programs in Canada. As part of the renewed curriculum, Michele engaged with industry technology partners to integrate digital agriculture which resulted in a new course titled “Agricultural Technologies for Farm Management Decision Making” which has brought together agricultural tech firms with students to explore and evaluate instrumentation and digital analysis platforms at the University of Manitoba’s Carman research station and on their own farms.
Under her guidance, the School of Agriculture has established itself as a farm safety education and training leader, and Michele facilitated a collaboration with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation to incorporate growing Indigenous foods and medicines, exploring sustainable food systems, nutrition, land stewardship and business practices.
According to student feedback, Michele’s farm instructors made one of the best pivots to deliver effective online offerings during the COVID shutdowns on campus. Most of her team of instructors were mentored by Michele as her students.
Throughout her career, Michele served on a number of industry boards including the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council, and as Chair of the Canadian Association of Diplomas in Agriculture Program.
Michele was nominated by Derek Brewin, Chris Hamblin, and Martin Scanlon to receive the 2022 Wilson Loree Award.
Here is some of what Michele’s colleagues had to say about her contributions to affecting positive change in farm business management:
“Michele is a deserving candidate for the award, as she has truly made extraordinary contributions for positive change in farm business management practices and expertise in Canada. Her hard work and dedication to agricultural education, particularly in the areas of farm management and applied agriculture training, have transformed our Diploma in Agriculture program and benefited current students, alumni and our industry as a whole.”
“I cannot think of an individual who is more deserving of this recognition, both in her dedication to training tomorrow’s leaders in agricultural management and her role as a mentor to young professionals in Manitoba and across the country.”
“She is a ‘connector’, bringing together members of the agricultural community in the communal goal of enhancing and delivering modern relevant agricultural training.”
“Over the last decade, she has been passionate about ensuring that diploma graduates are prepared to succeed in agribusiness and farm management. Under her watch, the program has been updated to reflect modern agricultural practices and innovations through experiential learning, incorporating new technologies and strengthening high-level decision-making skills.”
“I would like to highlight the incredible impact Michele Rogalsky has had on the people around her. She has been a mentor to students, young professionals and her colleagues, guiding and encouraging them to pursue career-advancing opportunities. She has worked quietly to build up others, and is often the person nominating others for awards, which is why I am so pleased to be able to support this nomination of Michele.”
“Michele, quite simply, is a force of nature who sees a challenge, builds a team, and works with the individuals in the team to achieve their individual and team goals. Those successes have improved agricultural education and more broadly, the future of our agricultural industry.”
“By far though, Michele’s greatest attribute has been her leadership and her mentorship in the Manitoba agricultural community. Her knowledge and expertise has been widely sought by colleagues and policy-makers and Michele ensures that she is available to those who have need of her advice.”
“She is an inspiring example of how an educator, colleague and mentor can influence and lift up the efforts of those around them.”
“She truly exemplifies the aims of the Wilson Loree Award, working tirelessly to advance farm business management training to support the Canadian farming community now and into the future.”
Wilson Loree retired as Branch Head of Agriculture Business Management after 27 years with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. The Award was created in 2002 in Wilson’s name by Farm Management Canada. Wilson is cited as “an individual who exemplifies innovation, wisdom, and a constant focus on the farm manager and the farm family.” Currently Wilson resides in Calgary, Alberta.
About Farm Management Canada
A national umbrella for Canadian farm business management activity, Farm Management Canada is the only organization devoted exclusively to the development and delivery of advanced business management information, tools and resources to position Canada’s farmers for success. Farm Management Canada’s programs and activities are made possible through support from generous sponsors and supporters.