Scholar Throwback – Alex & Angela Dolson

This week we have a special “Couples Edition” of Throwback Thursday to celebrate two Scholarship Winners from 2017 and 2018. Lets check in with Alex and Angela (Pfaeffli) Dolson to see what they have been up to since graduating.

What has your professional journey looked like since winning your GRAS scholarship?

Alex – “Ok so as for my professional journey I graduated from the university of Guelph in 2018 and returned home to the family dairy farm where I currently work.”

Angela – “After receiving the scholarship I went on to graduate from the University of Guelph with a BSc in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science with honours. While still in school Alex and I got married and had our first child and this past Easter we welcomed our second child and so I am enjoying being a stay-at-home mom for the time being. In between the kids I did work part time on a dairy farm for the famous Farmer Tim for two years.”

Do you have any ongoing connection to GRAS?

Alex – “My wife won the same scholarship the next year and we went back to watch the horse races again last year because we enjoyed going to the scholarship presentation so much.”

Angela – “Before winning the GRAS scholarship I had never had any connection with the Grand River Agricultural Society or been to the racetrack. Since Alex and I have won the scholarships we have been back to racetrack several times and we always thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Although we do not have a very good understanding of the horse racing industry we enjoy following the race statistics a bit so we know who the most likely candidates are of winning the races next time we go!”

What did receiving a scholarship mean to you? 

Alex – “The scholarship helped me pay for some of my tuition for my final year of the bachelor of commerce program… some of it may have also been spent on cows.”

Angela – “Receiving the scholarship meant Alex and I could enjoy an awesome date night with thrilling racetrack entertainment and a great buffet dinner! Financially this scholarship meant a lot, it is a very generous scholarship when one has to pay for four years of university plus rent to live near the campus any additional funds are welcomed. Furthermore, since the Grand River Agricultural Society is a highly esteemed organization in and around its community this scholarship was a great addition to my personal resume.”

As an added bonus we have the exclusive story of how Alex and Angela met. It’s a story woven with hard work, late nights and tons of Chemistry… literally!

“Alex and I were both freshmen Aggies at the University of Guelph in September of 2014. We were also both living in the “Aggie Cluster”, this was two floors in one of the residence buildings reserved for 48 first year students within the Ontario Agriculture College. In our residence Aggie Cluster every monday night became Chemistry homework nights and we all worked in groups to help each other out so that hopefully everyone would pass the ‘Killer Chem’ course. Several weeks into the semester Alex and I were both in the same group working on chemistry homework and that is the first time I talked to him. Our friendship began that night and quickly flourished although our chemistry studies were somewhat unsuccessful as Alex did not pass the course and then decided to switch programs to a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture. Even with this switch Alex and I had at least one class in common each semester and we always had great teamwork helping each other with homework. We were largely inseparable in our four years at the U of G as we frequented Creelmans and Tim Hortons on campus very regularly for meals, walked each other to classes, went on Dairy Science Club trips together, and made our weekly Aggie pub appearances hand in hand. Although our lives are largely focused around agriculture and our definition of an awesome date is attending the Royal together we do class it sometimes as the second best date in our opinion is going out for sushi! Fast forward to today and we are a family of four living in Rockwood while Alex works full time on his parents dairy farm. We are also currently working towards owning and running our own dairy farm hopefully in the near future. “

Stories like the ones told by Alex and Angela is why GRAS continues to offer agriculture scholarships, since its inception in 2006, the Scholarship and Bursary Program has awarded $216,500 to 118 students. For updates on more of our past scholars follow us on Facebook @GrandRiverAg.

If you know a student with a permanent residence in Wellington County, Perth County or the Region of Waterloo who is currently enrolled in a college or university with an agricultural or environmentally focused program they can apply for a scholarship of up to $2,500.

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