Thinking of hosting an ALES Mini Internship Program (AMIP) student? 

Hosting and mentoring students from the U of A mini-internship program is a way of giving back to the agricultural community. It also provides an opportunity to build confidence and expertise in the young agriculture professionals of tomorrow. Rachelle Davidson, Technical Lead at Maple Leaf Foods, has experienced both support as a student and the ability to give back as a professional.

“In order for you to receive, you have to pay it forward, and that’s how we build foundations,” she said. “Alberta’s poultry industry is very unique, we believe in giving back, and that has created a really strong sense of community within our sector.”

“For almost every host, the benefit is just giving back,” agrees Dr. Frank Robinson, program founder and coordinator. “There are people working in the industry and doing well, and they want to give back to the industry to help students plan a career path.”

AMIP is a work-integrated program and students are expected to get their hands and feet dirty. Students have little to no experience in their commodity and they are there to get experience.

If you are interested in becoming a host site, you will be asked to take the students for the full three days.

  • The upcoming dates are February 22 – 24, 2023.
  • Ideally, the students will work an 8-hour day.

The AMIP now has a bank account based on funds from donors that they are treating as an endowment. The interest from the endowment gives them the ability to cover hotels and mileage for students. Currently, ideal placements are 1-2 hours from Edmonton. The hope is to eventually offer placements further abroad, particularly if a number of students are interested and could share the mileage.

AMIP students are not paid and their work is covered by University of Alberta liability insurance as it is a U of A program. Interaction with farmers, at least some of the time, is ideal. Robinson stresses the value of the opportunity for students to ask questions and “pick the brain” of internship hosts.

Right now, the registration goal is 150 students, but Robinson feels that the program could potentially grow even bigger. He will also accommodate students that want to experience the internship with a friend.

Interested? Have more questions? Dr. Frank Robinson would love to talk to you. You can reach him at

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