Environmental Management Branch: Nicole Rabe
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food helps to build a stronger agri-food sector by investing in the development and transfer of innovative technologies, retaining and attracting investment, developing markets, providing regulatory oversight, and providing effective risk management tools.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs helps enable rural Ontario to build strong, vital communities with diversified economies and healthy social and environmental climates.
Who are your customers?
I work in the Environmental Management Branch. This branch works mostly with agricultural producers, farm associations, the food processing industry, internal Ministry clients and the bioenergy sector.
What services do you provide?
In the Resource, Information and Business Services unit, where I work, we provide technical advice on soil and the land, primarily for agricultural use, and gather, store, process and deliver geographic information services to both ministries. This includes providing a variety of maps, data and information to clients, as well as geographic information system(GIS) and Global Positioning System(GPS) services. Our unit is also the custodian of the provincial soil maps, which provide important land and resource information to farmers.
How many offices do you have?
The head offices of both the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs are located in Guelph. The ministries also have smaller, satellite offices located throughout the province to allow our clients and stakeholders easy access to the information and resources they need. You can see our office locations at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/offices/map.html.
How many employees do you have?
The Resource, Information and Business Services unit has nine full-time employees, but we regularly have co-op students with us during the year. The Environmental Management Branch, of which my unit is part, has over 70 employees, not including co-op students, summer students and interns.
What type of positions do you have? Opportunities for students?
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs regularly employ high school and post-secondary students as summer students, co-op students and interns. Typically, summer student positions are for 12 to 14 weeks, co-op placements are for four to eight months and internships are for one year. Information regarding internships, co-op placements and student positions is available on the Ontario Public Service (OPS) careers website. You can find more information at www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/YNPS.asp.
The Ontario government also has an internship program open to post-secondary graduates. You can find more information on this program here: http://www.internship.gov.on.ca/mbs/sdb/intern.nsf/LkpWebContent/ePublishedHOME.
Are there opportunities for travel?
There are opportunities to travel in my position. I actually work in Guelph and Woodstock throughout the week, depending on where I need to be. Additionally, there are opportunities to attend tradeshows, conferences and workshops away from the office within the province, and sometimes domestically or internationally.
What do employees have to say about working in the Ontario Public Service?
I am always learning new things as part of my job, and I know that I am helping our clients. Working in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) is very rewarding. You can hear and watch testimonials from employees on the OPS Careers website: www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/OPSVoices.asp.