Farm queen at heart

Farm queen at heart

Aniecea Wiggan plans to bring more young people into the fold

Sunday, August 25, 2019

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As National Farm Queen for 2019, Aniecea Wiggan is eager to serve.
Her experience in the field of agriculture has prepared her for the journey, one through which she intends to implement agricultural training centres across the island, while encouraging more and more young people to contribute to the industry.
“My overall goal as it relates to agriculture is for the implementation of agricultural education to be taught as a business to our youths to garner their involvement and the preservation of the agricultural sector,” she told the Jamaica Observer last week.
“I hope to garner more youth involvement in agriculture through the means of education, especially females, through a junior farm queen competition that would be done at the high school level. which was a vision of our previous farm queen Samantha Myrie,” she continued.
The 24-year-old knew from a young age that agriculture was her calling.
“My interest in agriculture developed from my parents who are both farmers. I wanted to get a better understanding of the sciences. Helping my parents on their backyard farm developed my passion for agriculture,” she shared.
Her parents' farm is located in Higgin's Land, St Ann. The farm produces crops such as cabbage, Irish potato, yam and sweet potato among other cash crops.
While completing her secondary education at St Hilda's Diocesan High School, she received the Rio Tinto Alcan Scholarship for her contribution to the 4H Clubs in her parish. The achievement encouraged her to take her passion for agriculture seriously, and she applied to the College of Science, Agriculture and Education (CASE) before graduating high school. She now holds an associate's degree in general agriculture and a Bachelor's in animal science from the Portland-based institution.
She is employed to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) as an agricultural assistant, which allows her to interact with farmers on a regular basis.
“My day-to-day role includes providing technical advice to farmers, hosting and conducting farmer training on a monthly basis and registering and verifying farmers,” she explained.
The Farm Queen competition, she said, was a means of taking her invovlement in the field to another level.
“I entered the National Farm Queen competition because I wanted to impart the knowledge that I had gained. I also wanted to put myself out there as an ambassador for youths to see the great benefits that agriculture has to offer. along with the growth that they can achieve from being involved,” the young woman told Carer & Education.
“I benefited from the competition as I gained a lot of exposure, especially with the courtesy calls to the Governor General, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture. I also got to increase my knowledge about livestock production from the various farm tours that we went on. I also learnt that the Farm at Little Orchard in Linstead, St Catherine will be a part of the agro tourism linkages as they will be opening their doors to tourists next year,” she said, listing some of the opportunities which the competition afforded her.
By way of advice to the young people she is seeking to inspire, Wiggan said, “Be open-minded and be ready to take on the different career ventures under the big umbrella of agriculture, especially the technological aspect”.
As title sponsor of the National Farm Queen Competition, Nutramix has supported the reigning farm queen, and other contestants of the competition with their projects and initiatives for the agriculture industry for the past five years.

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