Lewington relays ag and food trends
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.”