Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham College

Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham College

At our organization, we are committed to supporting deserving Canadian undergraduate students in achieving their academic dreams through education bursaries. We understand that the cost of higher education can be a significant burden, impacting the future talent pool of the next generation. It is our mission to alleviate some of this burden so that students can pursue their passions and make meaningful contributions to their fields and communities.

Today, we are excited to feature an interview with a dedicated and values-driven professional currently enrolled in the Horticulture Program at Durham College, Whitby Campus, ON. This program, which embraces a field-to-fork philosophy, prepares students to lead in the evolving food sector. Students gain hands-on experience in an urban farm setting, learning to produce wholesome, locally sourced food and contribute to sustainable community solutions. The program also emphasizes agri-tourism, connecting urban residents to farming and enhancing awareness of local food production.

Join us as we delve into the journey, aspirations, and insights of one of our bursary recipients, Raechel Woodrow, who is passionately working towards a sustainable future in horticulture.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

At Durham College’s Whitby Campus, I serve in multiple roles—SOP development support, administrative assistant, and event coordination. My responsibilities include both strategic tasks, like developing standard operating procedures, and hands-on activities, such as agricultural work and floral design for local events. This experience allows me to connect deeply with all aspects of horticultural operations, from cultivation to community engagement through the Whitby Campus Farmers’ Market. I am currently completing my studies in the Horticulture Technician program and look forward to graduating from the Horticulture – Food and Farming program next year.

Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham College

I am a family person, dedicated to sharing experiences of nature and a love for the outdoors with my two children and two stepchildren. We are passionate about outdoor activities, particularly camping and gardening. Our goal is to purchase land to develop a diversified farm focusing on market gardening, floriculture, and small-scale livestock farming.

2. Why did you choose to study Horticulture – Food and Farming Program at Durham College?

I am driven by the desire to make meaningful contributions to environmental sustainability and community wellness. By integrating my work with my passion, I aim to nurture a healthier, more sustainable future for the next generation and provide a robust, joyful life for my family.

Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham College

3. How did you find out about the bursary program of the Foundation?

The mission and values of the Foundation strongly resonated with me, especially given my direct involvement with the college’s urban farm which embodies similar principles.

4. How do you think the work of the Foundation aligns with your field of study?

The mission of the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation is closely aligned with my academic and professional pursuits in horticulture and sustainable agriculture. At Durham College’s Whitby Campus Urban Farm, where I manage SOP development and coordinate events, I actively participate in projects that embody your vision of connecting people with the land. These projects focus on sustainable cultivation practices in an urban environment and include educational initiatives such as workshops and farm tours. These efforts are designed to enhance community engagement and increase awareness about the significance of local and sustainable food sources.

The Foundation’s emphasis on health and wellness through sustainable agricultural practices mirrors my educational pathway and future career goals. By focusing on both preserving biodiversity through original seed strains and promoting nutritional health via the seed-to-table cycle, the Foundation supports key aspects of my studies. This resonates deeply with my personal mission to not only engage in sustainable farming but also to educate and nourish the community, contributing to a healthier generation.

The alignment between the Foundation’s initiatives and my educational endeavors supports a shared vision for a healthier, more sustainable future. This partnership empowers me to extend the reach of my efforts in sustainable agriculture and community engagement, ultimately driving significant positive change in both local and broader communities.

5. Where do you see yourself after graduation?

I plan to pursue further education and training in the automotive field, specializing in agricultural equipment. This will prepare me for a career where I can practice sustainable farming practices and offer specialized technical skills that support the agriculture industry. My ultimate ambition is to own and operate a farm that not only nourishes my family but also contributes significantly to local food security and community well-being.

Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham College

6. What’s your favourite words of wisdom & why?

A guiding principle in my life and career has been, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” This philosophy has not only inspired me to pursue a fulfilling career in horticulture and agriculture but also underscores my commitment to making a meaningful difference through my work. Observing my dedication and happiness in following my passion, my children are learning an invaluable lesson: to identify what they love doing and to pursue it wholeheartedly, without feeling constrained by conventional expectations. This realization that joy can stem from one’s career choices is a powerful motivator for us all, encouraging a family culture where following one’s passion is both celebrated and encouraged.

Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham CollegeBursary Recipient Spotlight: Raechel Woodrow, Student, Horticulture Program, Durham College

Raechel ‘s story embodies the transformative potential of education and community support in cultivating environmental stewardship. As we commemorate World Environment Day this month of June 2024 and its call to action for land restoration and drought resilience, let us draw inspiration from Raechel ‘s journey.

Together, let us sow the seeds of change, nurturing a future where sustainability flourishes, and the earth’s bounty is safeguarded for generations to come.

#EnviroWeek and #GreeningOurFuture 

Earth Day 2021 Livestreams

Our videos with Mark Cullen and Brian Minter

Growing Mindful Children

Our Video clip from the 2020 Celebration of Greath Health (9 min)


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