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Three alumni, four rings

Posted by Stephanie Rogers on April 15, 2024 in Alumni & Friends, News
Bonnie MacInnis, Tessa MacIsaac and Angie MacIsaac
Bonnie MacInnis, Tessa MacIsaac and Angie MacIsaac

A family connection led Tessa MacIsaac, Inverness County, Cape Breton, to the Faculty of Agriculture and this same family connection was celebrated last Friday, April 5th with the presentation of four rings at the 2024 Barley Party.

“Although I had no real background in agriculture, being part of the Nova Scotia 4-H program introduced me to the industry,” Tessa explained.  “It was through the annual 4-H Weekend I had the opportunity to stay at the AC for a couple nights and tour campus. When the time came to choose what to do after high school, being familiar with the AC, and having some alumni in the family helped to make my decision and I'm so glad I did!”

Established in 2010, the Barley Party is the annual celebration for students who have purchased a Barley Ring - the Faculty of Agriculture’s widely recognized graduation ring. Held in Jenkins Hall on campus, students and their supporters enjoy a delicious meal, and one-by-one are called to the front of the room to accept their Barley Ring.

Tessa’s mom Angie completed the Animal Health Technology program, (Class of ’98) and her great-aunt Bonnie MacInnis, (Class of ’78) a Diploma in Economics and Rural Development.

“There is nothing quite like the AC,” added Tessa. “My favourite thing is the home-like atmosphere and the friendships I've made here.”

Tessa is the outgoing president of the Dalhousie Agricultural Students' Association and was recently honoured with the Student Governance Leadership award. She is also a member of the Rams Loggersports and Judging teams.

Tessa will be graduating May 21 with a BSc. (Agr.) with a major in Environmental Sciences, and a certificate in Sustainable Soil Management. She plans to attend St. Francis Xavier University in the fall to pursue a Bachelor of Education.

“I look forward to becoming an elementary school teacher.” 

All three appreciated the size of campus.

“Knowing everyone on campus and having the professors know all the students was great,” said Bonnie. “The fun we had and the friendships we made was the best experience.”

Bonnie worked for numerous years as the Vessel Operations Manager for an offshore fishing company while Angie worked for several years in the veterinary medicine industry and is now the Executive Director of a Historical Society. 

The family connection through the rings is a special one.

“We wanted to get our Barley Rings to have the family connection and to wear with pride the idea the ring represents,” added Angie.

While her mom and great-aunt each chose a stainless-steel ring, Tessa chose two – gold and stainless steel.

“I just love fashion and prefer to match my jewelry to my outfits, said Tessa. “I purchased both as I simply like to have options!