When February 16, 2017 was designated Canada’s first ever Agriculture Day, it was billed as “a time to celebrate and draw a closer connection between Canadians, our food and the people who produce it.”
The day features a full day of celebrations in Ottawa, ON along with mini celebrations across the country aimed at drawing closer those who produce food with those who consume it. The people of ag are not only farmers, but they also have the privilege of working with Canadian farmers. As part of Canada’s Ag Day, we polled Monsanto employees from five provinces to explain why #IworkInAg.
Dale Burns, Canola Breeder
I cannot imagine NOT working in Canadian agriculture. It’s been 30 years since I started grad studies in canola breeding and I have yet to tire of the eternal cycle of planting seed, watching plants develop, generating data and choosing the next generation. I know the science behind the process but still find some magic in seedlings pushing their way through the soil and opening to the sunlight.
On a more practical note, I have been privileged to be part of a revolution in Canadian agriculture. We have changed canola from a varietal crop to a hybrid, herbicide tolerant crop. This has raised the amount produced per acre while reducing tillage, a win for growers and their soils. In recent years, we’ve seen new traits introduced which allowed better disease control and fewer passes over the field during harvest. In the future, technology will continue to advance and allow farmers to grow crops more precisely and with lowered environmental impact. As a former farm kid, a hiker and a parent, I am excited about Canadian agriculture and what the future brings.
Arvel Lawson, Agronomist
I love working with Canadian farmers as they teach me so much about optimism, focus, and resiliency. As an agronomist, I feel thankful to work with kind, genuine people who do so much to support their communities.
Al Crozon, Territory Account Manager
I love working in Canadian agriculture because I get a feeling that we (collectively as the ag industry) do our best to provide safe, high quality, products to consumers while working with (or against) Mother Nature. Every year is different than the last and every year the environment will give us new challenges to overcome. It is challenging and very rewarding. Because Canadian Farmers are such practical people who use common sense, they are a pleasure to work with.
Danielle Berard, Agronomist & Diane Hayward, Territory Account Manager
Lac du Bonnet & Carman, MB
We love working with Canadian farmers because agriculture is an industry with constant innovation. Canadian farmers are always wanting to learn and are very welcoming. They always look for ways to better their operations in a sustainable manner. They are humble and proud of the work they do and are focused on the communities they live in.
Bob Thirlwall, Agronomist
I love working in Canadian agriculture. It is in my blood and I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. Most days it doesn’t even feel like work. Having grown up in rural southwestern Ontario on a mixed farm, I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in agriculture. I loved doing chores after school or driving a tractor at any chance I could. Being outside in the fresh air was a great reward for us who live to farm.
By the time I finished ag college, I decided I wasn’t prepared to invest in farms and equipment so I chose the supply side of ag. Originally starting in retail at a local coop, I enjoyed the customers and fast pace in the spring and fall busy seasons. It gave me some valuable experience and I had an opportunity to join a seed company. For more than 20 years I have been able to be the connection between our technology development team and our dealers and growers. It is a thrill to introduce new seed products and new technology advances to farmers.
What I love most about ag is that we all want to learn and share our experiences to make everyone more successful and more profitable. Growers are always looking to get better, more efficient and more profitable. I am proud to be part of a team in the industry to help make our farm customers more successful. I can’t think of anything I would rather do.
Denise Hockaday, Climate Corporation Business Lead for Canada
I love working in Canadian agriculture because it is unique and diverse – something we should be proud of. As broad as ag expands across Canada, it still is a close knit community.
François Montambault, Territory Account Manager
J’aime travailler avec les producteurs parce que ce sont des gens très sincères. Leurs attentes sont claires, et la confiance est essentielle. J’ai toujours observé que, quand vous leur offrez de bons services et de bons conseils, les producteurs vous remercient toujours par leur loyauté. C’est ce que j’appelle une situation gagnant / gagnant!
For more information on Canada’s Agriculture Day, visit: https://www.agriculturemorethanever.ca/cdn-ag-day/