Agriculture Careers

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What is your future? Do you dream of owning your own business? Maybe you are the creative type, eager to make your mark with graphic design? Or perhaps you get excited by the idea of a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)? Would you be surprised to learn that all of those  (and more!) are career options within the agri-food sector?  Careers in agriculture and food are incredibly diverse… and they aren’t all on the farm.

The agriculture and food sector is at the leading edge of research and innovation to address global challenges. There are endless opportunities which will allow you to make a difference: feed the growing population, protect the environment, care for animals, or help people.

So go ahead…take a look through these profiles of real Canadians working in agriculture and food. You may just get a glimpse of what your future can hold.

Provincial Livestock Engineer

Provincial Livestock Engineer

Teddi’s main job is implementing the Agricultural Operations Act, which protects water resources by requiring intensive livestock operations to have adequate waste storage and waste management plans. Between the office and the field, she provides technical assistance to producers and regional engineers. 

Not very many environmental engineers get to work directly with the producers who raise our food. But the opportunity to do so is what Teddi Dear loves about her career.

The main focus of Teddi’s job is implementing the Agricultural Operations Act, which protects water resources by requiring intensive livestock operations to have adequate waste storage and waste management plans. Splitting her time between the office and the field, she provides technical assistance to producers and regional engineers. She explains government regulations and the approval process, and assists producers hiring consultants for engineering work.

Teddi helps clients applying for Farm Stewardship Program funding, which provides financial assistance to producers making environmental improvements on their farms. She discusses with them the environmental benefits of undertaking a project and provides counselling on the program options. 

On a more technical basis, she evaluates potential livestock operation sites for environmental risk. In this role she looks at waste sources, potential pathways and receptors, which can involve the collection of soil and water samples. After surveying an area, she plans the proper placement of facilities such as pens and runoff controls, and then creates site layouts, design drawings and as-constructed plans. She is also involved in surface water monitoring of areas that receive manure from livestock. 

Working in the livestock sector was natural for Teddi, as she grew up on a farm working with cattle and spent many years in the 4-H program. Teddi completed her degree in Civil Environmental Engineering and spent time working in environmental consulting before taking this role within the Ministry of Agriculture. 

There are a number of environmental programs available at the college and university level. Depending on the university, environmental engineering options may be available within the agricultural, biological or civil disciplines.

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