Vankleek Hill’s Valerie Higginson was named as one of five bursary winners at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s (OFA) 2022 Annual General Meeting in Guelph, Ontario, on Monday, November 21.

Higginson, who is completing her final year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, was named as a Post-Graduate winner of a $2,000 bursary from the OFA’s expanded Bursary Program. Applicants were judged based on demonstrated leadership skills, involvement in the community, and varied accomplishments in both school and the agriculture industry.

After graduating next spring, Higginson – who grew up working on the family’s sheep farm in Vankleek Hill – intends to pursue a position as a food animal veterinarian, working primarily with bovine species. She hopes to give back to the industry that raised her by volunteering as a 4-H leader, mentoring upcoming students, and joining industry boards.

“The addition of two new bursaries made it possible for us to recognize the importance of all levels of education in setting people up for success in our industry. This year’s recipients represent the diverse skill set the next generation of young leaders bring to the agriculture industry,” said Peggy Brekveld, OFA President. “We’re proud to recognize five individuals who are dedicated to using their skills to better agriculture and Ontario’s rural communities.”

For more information on OFA’s bursary program and a list of other bursary winners, visit

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. Based in Guelph, the OFA represents and champions the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit