Ontario Agri-Food Education and Grain Farmers of Ontario bring Exciting Career Information to Students
On Tuesday March 4th students piled into the Ontario Science Centre; ready to learn more about the exciting opportunities in an ever expanding and technologically advanced industry: Agriculture! Student’s were eager to meet their host, Adamo Ruggiero, star of Degrassi the Next Generation who started the event by admitting that being a “city kid” he was not aware of the opportunity and technology that existed in the industry – and he confessed that he was surprised! He encouraged students to apply their tech-savvy nature and their ability to navigate a digital world to a career in agriculture. The honorable premier Kathleen Wynn gave video greetings to the group, quoting the vast variety of people it takes to bring food onto our plates. What a way to kick off an event!
The highlight of the event was the 4 members of the ag-career panel. Each talked to their own career path and how they found success and reached their goals in the agriculture industry:
Steve Redmond, Crop Advisor was an instant hit when he brought out his Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and explained the advanced technology involved in crop advising. Student’s were excited to hear about his “drone” and the GPS system that runs it. Check out the video here!
Kimberly VanOverloop had a tagline that caught everyone’s attention: making electricity from cow poop! Kimberly is a Renewable Energy Technician at the Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. She shared her work on anaerobic digesters and using organic oils to create biodiesel. Some crazy stuff!
Dwight Gerling was next. As a commodity trader Dwight intrigued the young audience with an job that involves travelling to over 22 different countries. His love for numbers and business made him the perfect soybean trader!
Kim Timmer, raised in Etobicoke, found the agricultural industry very welcoming. As a manager she uses her communication skills to explain scientific concepts in simplified ways. Kim talked about her strong relationship with farmers and her love of agriculture.
Students asked panelists their questions and they discussed the importance of networking and communication skills in the workplace. The panelists made it clear that no matter if you are from the city or country, like science or english, are university or workplace bound, there is an opportunity for you in Ag. Their number one piece of advice: follow your passions and there will be a place for you in Agriculture.