Lew­ing­ton re­lays ag and food trends

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Vauxhall - BY HEATHER CAMERON

On Oct. 19, a pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion by Agricultural Stud­ies and Eco­nomics fea­tur­ing Trevor Lew­ing­ton, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Leth­bridge, took place at the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge.

“The pre­sen­ta­tion is ti­tled Re­think­ing your fu­ture in food: Trends and op­por­tu­ni­ties in South­ern Al­berta,” says Brandy Old, the Pro­gram Co­or­di­na­tor and Agility Ses­sional In­struc­tor at the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge. “The fo­cus of the pre­sen­ta­tion is to pro­vide a clear over­view of the ex­tent to which Leth­bridge has be­come a key agri-food hub, as well as pro­vide a vivid im­pres­sion of the as­so­ci­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties this brings for stu­dent en­trepreneurs in­ter­ested in pri­mary pro­duc­tion, value-added ac­tiv­i­ties and re­tail.”

She ex­plains Lew­ing­ton is the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Leth­bridge and has over 15 years of ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence in the food pro­cess­ing in­dus­try, as well as many years liv­ing the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of a small busi­ness owner.

Lew­ing­ton strives to pro­vide a broad-based per­spec­tive and col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to en­hance con­tin­ued eco­nomic growth in south­ern Al­berta.

“The in­tent with this pre­sen­ta­tion is to ex­pand aware­ness of this crit­i­cal sec­tor to any­one in the com­mu­nity that might have in­ter­est or that could po­ten­tially ben­e­fit by ex­pand­ing their busi­ness to serve the sec­tor,” Old ex­plains.

Out­side of be­ing in­volved in the pre­sen­ta­tion, Lew­ing­ton is en­gaged in his com­mu­nity and has served as the Deputy Mayor in the Vil­lage of Stir­ling for the last four years and will now serve as mayor.

Lew­ing­ton is also an ac­tive mem­ber of the Board of Di­rec­tors for the Plant Pro­tein Al­liance of Al­berta and In­tel­li­gent Com­mu­nity Fo­rum – Canada.

“Leth­bridge’s econ­omy has al­ways been dis­tin­guished by the abil­ity of busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs to adapt and in­no­vate with chang­ing times,” Old says.

“The agri­cul­ture sec­tor, long a main­stay of the re­gion’s econ­omy, is shift­ing from pure pro­duc­tion to an in­creased fo­cus on value-added pro­cess­ing. We are home to a thriv­ing tech­nol­ogy sec­tor, driven by a grow­ing knowl­edge work­force and fu­eled by the bright minds at our post-se­condary in­sti­tu­tions and re­search cen­tres.”

Education-wise, Lew­ing­ton holds a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce with a ma­jor in Hu­man Re­source Man­age­ment, com­pleted a Change Lead­er­ship Cer­tifi­cate with Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity and is a Char­tered Pro­fes­sional in Hu­man Re­sources (CPHR) through CPHR Al­berta.

He is also a Cer­ti­fied Lo­gis­tics Pro­fes­sional (CCLP) through the Cana­dian In­sti­tute of Traf­fic and Trans­porta­tion.

“Rec­og­niz­ing that South­ern Al­berta, and in par­tic­u­lar Leth­bridge and area, is home to a ro­bust agricultural and agribusi­ness com­mu­nity, I be­lieve it is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to ex­pose stu­dents to op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges within the sec­tor across South­ern Al­berta,” Old says.

“With loom­ing chal­lenges like feed­ing nine bil­lion by 2050, it is es­sen­tial our stu­dents are ex­posed to pos­si­bil­i­ties to be­come change­mak­ers right here at home. I strongly value the ever-grow­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Leth­bridge and the Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge.”

Lew­ing­ton also has 15 years ex­pe­ri­ence with Pep­siCo Foods in man­u­fac­tur­ing and sup­ply chain end­ing with a role as Man­u­fac­tur­ing Di­rec­tor that in­cluded re­spon­si­bil­ity for the three south­ern Al­berta plants.

“Trevor has par­tic­i­pated in mul­ti­ple Uni­ver­sity of Leth­bridge events, and is ever sup­port­ive of our stu­dents,” Old says. “He brings fresh per­spec­tives and per­ti­nent in­for­ma­tion to life dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tions. The new in­vest­ments in agri-food sec­tors like Cavendish Farms and fed­eral sup­port of agri­cul­ture su­per­clus­ters on the hori­zon, this pre­sen­ta­tion brings to light the value of food to our econ­omy.”

“Leth­bridge is south­ern Al­berta’s hub for both tra­di­tional in­dus­tries and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies,” Old said. “Leth­bridge thinkers, mak­ers and do­ers are lead­ing change in agri­cul­ture, food sci­ences, tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing within a com­mu­nity that is pro­pelled by in­no­va­tive re­search and a spirit of en­trepreneur­ship.”

Lew­ing­ton re­cently re­ceived an award from the Fed­er­a­tion of Cana­dian Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties for his field work and con­tri­bu­tions to the Caribbean Lo­cal Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Project hav­ing worked to build lo­cal govern­ment ca­pac­ity in Belize and Ja­maica.

“Leth­bridge isn’t just a great place to make a liv­ing; it’s a great place to make a life,” Old ex­plains. “Here, the feel of a close-knit small com­mu­nity is com­ple­mented by the ser­vices and ameni­ties of a grow­ing ur­ban cen­tre. We pride our­selves on our com­mu­nity’s nat­u­ral beauty, di­verse pop­u­la­tion, two mod­ern post-se­condary in­sti­tu­tions, a thriv­ing arts and cul­ture scene and top-notch recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties. We are also a com­mu­nity that de­liv­ers on its prom­ises over time. In fact, we have found that the more peo­ple get to know Leth­bridge, the more they love it.”

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