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AMC Hackathon Competitors Photo

Inaugural AMC Hackathon at POWER: AMC’s Convention and Trade Show

Regina, SK – December 14, 2023 – For the first time in history, a hackathon has occurred at the site of a North American agricultural trade association conference. This momentous event took place over 28 hours as AMC kicked off its convention – themed POWER – on November 22nd and culminated with the student presentations on November 23rd. 

The “AMC Hackathon” event provided students the opportunity to generate solutions to the largest challenge that manufacturing facilities face daily: What is the best way for Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers to reduce operating costs? The AMC Hackathon brought together students from multiple Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs and campuses. Participating programs included Mechanical Engineering Technology (Saskatoon), Electronic Systems Engineering Technology (Saskatoon), Engineering Design and Drafting Technology (Moose Jaw), Agriculture and Food Production (Moose Jaw), and Innovative Manufacturing (Regina). Students formed and worked within interdisciplinary teams to research and propose their solutions to the AMC Membership in less than 28 hours.

The members in attendance casted their votes based on the following criteria: implementation and feasibility, creativity of the solution, and the overall quality of the presentation. Our winners were team number four, who presented their solution of an “Industry-Wide Equipment Database.” The team participants pictured with AMC’s Donna Boyd, President and Bob Cochran, Chair of the Board, included Kolton Norsworthy, Cole Vogelsang, Jhon Gutierrez, Taryn Sandbeck, Dylan Novak, and Duncan McCormick. The winners of this competition were awarded funds from the AMC Future Forward Scholarship; the total disbursement of funds was over $5,000.

AMC Hackathon Winning Team Photo

The winning team came together as a collaborative effort between students in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology (EDDT), Agriculture and Food Production, and Innovative Manufacturing programs. Their different backgrounds and the unique out-of-the-box solution they came up with caught the audience’s attention and was a valuable example of the impact diversity can have within a team. Kaya Forest, Program Head of the EDDT program, noted that this collaborative environment is one these students will encounter when they enter the workforce. “We try to teach this in the classroom, but there is nothing like a real-world situation to demonstrate the value of having a diverse group of individuals work together to solve a problem.”

Kurt Soucy, P. Eng., Program Head of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program, states: “Sask Poly recognized immediately that this event was an excellent opportunity to have our students engage with industry in a meaningful and unique way. Our students excel technically, possessing the creativity and work ethic necessary to succeed in a time-constrained challenge such as this.” All participants of the AMC Hackathon were invited to join AMC’s 2023 POWER convention attendees for networking and the trade show after the competition to experience further their industry immersion.

At the conclusion of this event, Donna Boyd, President of AMC, stated, “Our members have the benefit of accessing these bright young minds and their problem-solving ideas through this competition. This was the first-ever hackathon to take place during an ag manufacturing convention anywhere in North America, and we are proud to be leading the way with this initiative of engaging students amidst our event. Introducing these students to industry leaders is a new addition to this year’s event to inspire young aspiring professionals to become more familiar with the industry and engage our leaders of tomorrow as part of our Careers in Ag campaign.”

Later this same evening, the members of AMC in attendance participated in a LIVE auction event to raise funds for the Future Forward Scholarship in 2024. They succeeded by doubling the previous year’s total, which will be invested in the future education of our critical workforce. “Our members are proud to support this initiative and reward students for their interest and commitment to the future of our industry through their studies,” states Bob Cochran, General Manager for Highline Manufacturing and AMC’s Board Chair.

AMC’s Careers in Ag initiative marks a dynamic partnership uniting industry, academia, and government. Designed to incentivize and attract top talent, this project is a driving force behind the sector’s growth and future leader development. With a 33-year history as an AMC member, Saskatchewan Polytechnic deepens its commitment to fostering meaningful connections between AMC’s industry leaders and the students poised to become the next wave of industry visionaries.

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For more information, contact:
Donna Boyd, President, Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada (AMC)
Phone: 204-666-3518
Email: donnaboyd@a-m-c.ca
AMC Website: www.a-m-c.ca
Careers in Ag Website: www.careersinag.ca