It was the third year that Cariboo Chevrolet Buick GMC presented an entrance award to current 4-H members or alumni who have applied to enter the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program at the TRU Williams Lake campus.

“We committed to raise money for the university with fundraising,” said owner, Brian Garland.

“We started the first gala which was now eight years ago and every dollar that has been raised has gone to tuition, and we saw an opportunity here to tie the 4-Hers with sort of an easy step if they are so inclined to get into agriculture and I think it’s been a real success because we didn’t see anything tailored to that and it’s reached out to 4-Hers across the province.”

Presented with this year’s entrance award was dual credit student Lauren Bedford.

She started the sustainable ranching program this week and is getting high school credits as well as university credits.

“It’s probably one of the happiest days of my year to be able to do that, for helping a young person, for helping a Univesity that’s growing, and growing, and the City of Williams Lake, it just goes on and on, ” Garland said.

“To be amongst young people who are just so enthusiastic about their career path and what they’re doing, I can’t really wait to retire so I can get involved more.”

Taking part in Friday’s celebration at the Laughing Loon was B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham who called Bedford an inspiration.

“I feel really grateful to be here because part of my mandate is trying to figure out how to support as many young people to move into agriculture as possible,” Popham said.

“I hear it all the time that young people don’t care about agriculture anymore and so every time I travel through the Cariboo I meet incredible young people who do care.”