Hello Grower World.
“I’m an Engineer.”
At 16, that’s what I thought I’d be saying for the rest of my life. Growing up, math and science were my favourite subjects and I loved (and still do) Lego. It was a natural choice. Then I had an epiphany while hand weeding experimental plots at Muck Crops Research Station, Bradford, Ontario where I determined three things:
1. I couldn’t spend the rest of my life in an office.
2. I wanted to go into agriculture.
3. There was a good chance I’d have knee problems in the future.
It wasn’t like #2 was a huge life left turn – I grew up on a vegetable farm started by my grandparents that is currently being run by their two sons. I’d spent my childhood following my dad around, riding in tractors, and digging my hands into the muck soil of the Holland Marsh. But up to that point, the idea of agriculture as a career hadn’t dawned on me.
So I leapt in. Seven years at the University of Guelph yielded an undergraduate degree in horticulture and a Masters focused on soybean varieties and drought tolerance. Now I’ve landed with the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association Water Project working on treating vegetable washwater prior to discharge and aiding with food safety certification.
Thus far, my short path in the ag industry has felt like a pinball game but I’m looking forward to whatever challenge the next bumper presents.