Regional win sends Lambton College Enactus team back to nationals

Lambton College’s Enactus team has earned a spot at this year’s Canadian national competition for the entrepreneurship-with-a-conscience student organization.


Author of the article: Paul Morden Publishing date: Mar 23, 2021

Andrea Dyck, president of the Lambton College Enactus team, and staff adviser Jon Milos are shown outside the Sarnia school's main building. The Sarnia Enactus team is heading back to the student organization's national competition after winning first place at a recent regional event. PHOTO BY PAUL MORDEN /The Observer


Lambton College’s Enactus team has earned a spot at this year’s Canadian national competition for the entrepreneurship-with-a-conscience student organization.


The student team from Lambton was recently named a central region champion for its project Growing Together, which works alongside First Nations to create greenhouses and aquaponics facilities.

“It was just really nice to see the work the (First) Nations have been doing being recognized,” said team president Andrea Dyck. “Really, that’s just what our project is all about.”


It was her first year taking part in the competition Lambton has had success at in recent years.


This is the eighth time in nine years a team from Lambton has won the regional entrepreneurship prize, faculty adviser Jon Milos said.


The Sarnia college’s 10-member team will compete in entrepreneurship and an overall category at the Canadian national competition in May.

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Lambton won a national title in 2018, the same year it won an Enactus world championship. The school repeated its win at the national competition in 2019 and finished second at the world event.


The team has been competing virtually this year because of the pandemic.


Dyck said many other team activities have also moved online this year, which has helped expand the reach of its programs.

“We’ve actually grown quite a bit since the pandemic started,” she said.


Enactus Lambton received funding in 2019 from RBC for programs working with Canadian First Nations.


That followed several years of work by the team involved in Project One Seed, which helps farmers in Zambia.


Dyck said the team’s presentation at the regional competition focused on work it’s doing in three Saskatoon-area First Nations.


“This project really focuses on youth and women in their communities, and re-establishing their connection to the land,” she said.


“We have built four greenhouses in the three First Nation communities and we are in the process of putting in three aquaponic facilities.”


Sitting in front of a new greenhouse built by the Lambton College Enactus team are, from left, Andrea Dyck, Megan Rizzo, Mike Bellegarde and Jaedon Michayluk-Wolfe .PHOTO BY HANDOUT


As well as helping the communities meet their goals of food security and reconnecting to the land, the projects help their members connect to careers in agriculture, she said.


The team began working with the Saskatoon-area communities because of a connection it made through its work with a First Nation in British Columbia.


“We want to take this coast to coast to coast,” Milos said. “We want to expand it, scale it, just like we did our work in Zambia.”

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Milos said they have been surprised how the project’s reach has grown during the pandemic.


“We’re currently working with, or about to work with, 31 First Nations,” he said.


Lambton team members, who were designated by the First Nations as essential workers, have been travelling to the communities while also observing two weeks of quarantine before they travel and two weeks when they return, Milos said.


“Our team has been doing that since June, and has been travelling safely,” he said. Those trips are scheduled to start up again in April after pausing for January and February.


All of the team’s work with the project in Africa has been online during the pandemic, Milos said.

The farm training program there has now been taken on fully by Zambians, but the college team continues to assist with the project’s economic development work, he said.


“Last year, on their own, they trained 350,000 farmers,” Milos said. “So they now own that program, completely, and we’re really, really proud of the work they’ve done.”

pmorden@postmedia.com


https://www.theobserver.ca/news/local-news/regional-win-sends-lambton-college-enactus-team-back-to-nationals


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