New University of Alberta student awards promote swine research excellence

ALBERTA - Edmonton, Alta., March 22, 2006. Two new awards in the name of renowned swine researcher and educator Dr. Frank Aherne are now available to University of Alberta students enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics.
calendar icon 24 March 2006
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The Frank Aherne Undergraduate Award and the Frank Aherne Graduate Research Scholarship are intended to foster the kind of excellence Aherne, who died in December 2005, brought to the field of swine research, says Ed Schultz, general manager of Alberta Pork, the organization representing pork producers in the province.

"Frank's work gave so much to the pork producing community, and even though he's no longer with us, he continues to give to the industry through these two awards," says Schultz. "Alberta Pork hopes this award and scholarship will help students who share a similar passion for swine research achieve their goals and benefit the pork industry with new research and innovations."

As current leader of the swine research program, George Foxcroft emphasizes the visionary zeal with which Frank built the swine program at the University of Alberta.

"He always focused on the education of students and the interface of researchers with producers," says Foxcroft. "Swine nutrition, swine reproduction and breeding herd management are just a few of the areas which flourished under the leadership of Dr. Aherne for over 20 years and continue to flourish thanks to the legacy he left behind."

The Frank Aherne Undergraduate Award will support experience-based learning programs for deserving undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics who want to gain "hands-on" learning experience related to food animal production. This experience may include research at the University of Alberta, a partner institution or a government research facility.

The Faculty's fundraising goal is $75,000 to endow the Frank Aherne Undergraduate Award. It will be valued at a minimum of $3,000 annually.

The second award, the Frank Aherne Graduate Research Scholarship, will support one graduate student already enrolled in the Faculty whose work in swine research will have a direct impact on the pork production industry. Recipients will be selected based on their academic records and the applicability of their research to the pork industry.

The fundraising goal for the Frank Aherne Graduate Research Scholarship is $200,000 to augment an existing endowment and provide a student stipend of $18,000 annually.

"Past experience has shown that graduate training in the area of swine research has traditionally been a strength of the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics, thanks in part to Frank's efforts," says Schultz.

For more information or to donate to the fund, call Myrna Snart in the University of Alberta Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics at (780) 492-2118 or e-mail to

Source: Alberta Pork - 24th March 2006

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