Perkins' fund 1st Ag Tech degree award

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May 12, 2021
Prospective students weren't the only ones eagerly anticipating the approval of Lakeland College's bachelor of agriculture technology program.
Bryan and Sharon Perkins by the Perkins Farm sign
More than a year before the Government of Alberta approved the degree program, Bryan and Sharon Perkins committed to creating a student award for the program.
"I've been very interested in the bachelor of agriculture technology program since I first heard about it while I was a member of the board," says Bryan. He served on Lakeland College Board of Governors from 2013-2020.
A day after Lakeland announced the program approval in January, Bryan phoned Lakeland's Community Development department to finalize the Bryan and Sharon Perkins Bachelor of Agriculture Technology Award. It is available to two students in the crops stream. This is the first award established for the degree program.
In addition to their new award, the Perkins fund two other awards: Bryan and Sharon Perkins Agricultural Award (two recipients) and Bryan & Sharon Perkins Double Diploma Award (two recipients). During the 2021-22 academic year, the six recipients of their awards will receive $1,100 each.
"For Sharon and me, farming and agriculture are our way of life, our source of income, and, perhaps more importantly, the chosen fields for our children and grandchildren as well," says Bryan, noting that they live on land homesteaded by his grandparents in 1908. "Agriculture is an exciting field. It offers so many challenges and so many opportunities – it keeps your feet on the ground. We're pleased to do our part to support students interested in this industry."

Endowment will fund awards in perpetuity

To ensure the awards continue after they're gone, the Perkins established an endowment fund with Lakeland in 2018. They've increased the fund through cash contributions and a recent stock donation. A planned gift of a $60,000 life insurance policy will grow the endowment after Bryan passes away.
"Our goal is to keep building the endowment fund. We want it to be self-sustaining and have the funds in place to continue supporting these awards after we're gone," says Bryan.
While they're building the endowment for the future, they realize the tax advantages now. They received a charitable receipt for the cash surrender value of the life insurance policy. The Perkins are charitably receipted annually for the premium payments they make on the policy.
In donating the stocks, the Perkins also received a charitable tax receipt for the fair market value when they transferred them to Lakeland. Transferring the shares directly to Lakeland allowed them to avoid paying capital gains taxes. That way they actually got two tax benefits rather than if they had sold the stocks and donated after-tax proceeds.
"When it comes to charitable giving in Alberta, everything over $200 provides a 50% tax credit. When we include Lakeland in our charitable giving and donate $1,100 for one of our awards, the government in effect contributes $550 of the award. If we can donate to help students and get the tax credit, we're happy to do so," says Perkins.
University of Alberta students also benefit from their generosity. The couple met at the university in the late 1960s, where Bryan earned a bachelor of science in agriculture and Sharon a teaching certificate. They created an endowment to fund the Perkins Family Bar None Award. Bryan and fellow alumni also developed the Agriculture Class of 1969 Bar None Leadership Award.
The most rewarding part of being a donor is hearing from the Lakeland students who receive their awards, says Bryan.
"To learn about their goals and their plans is so enjoyable. It makes me feel good about the future of agriculture. It makes me feel that anything that we've done to support their goals is worthwhile."
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
Choosing to attend Lakeland College was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life so far. The welcoming and friendly Lakeland environment encourages a place of excellence, and fosters the ability to be successful not only in school, but in life.

– Mariah Van’t Hof

University Transfer, Class of 2015

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience

What Alumni Say
The hands-on field trips, quality of education i received, professors who are invested in your success, and all the friends I made. I exceeded my academic expectations and I also had a lot of fun. If i had to do it all over gain, i would choose Lakeland!

– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree