I grew up on a mixed farm in what many people would consider the middle-of-nowhere. There was no 7-Eleven or Starbucks just down the street, and no arcade or mall to waste my time and money at (there still isn’t). Instead we had a few friends/family down the road, cows in the pasture and grain in the bin. Might not seem like much, but when you’re a country kid it’s everything. I thoroughly enjoyed life on the farm.
I also enjoyed writing. I’ll take words over numbers any day. Growing up, English classes in school were my favorite. At my small private Christian high school, I was the yearbook editor which involved writing stories and designing most of the book. It was one of the highlights of my high school years. After high school I was drawn to a communications program at a college in Winnipeg. This is a popular program known for producing outstanding journalists, public relations professionals and advertisers. Unfortunately, I was put on the program’s waiting list so I decided to take a year off.
Ready for an adventure, I packed my bags and moved to the Hoosier State – Indiana. I spent a year there volunteering at three different jobs through a Christian-based program. It was a great learning experience and I still look back on my time there with fond memories. I probably would have stayed longer if it wasn’t time to begin my University journey. So I headed home to the Prairies and moved to the big city of Winnipeg for four years of school. I’ve never been and never will be a city girl. I’m country through and through. So it was a difficult adjustment to city life for me. Sometimes it still is. This may be why I still escape the city as often as possible and drive approximately two hours southwest to the family farm.
After completing my post-secondary education, I accepted a job as a reporter at the daily newspaper in a nearby city. I had decided that I wanted to be a journalist and this was as good a place as any to start. It was here that I whetted my appetite for agricultural journalism as one of my beats was agriculture (smart thinking, putting the farm girl on the ag beat!). Prior to this I had done some ag writing for a few other small papers. I soon discovered that my other beats at the daily paper (crime and courts) were not for me. Needless to say, sleeping with a police scanner and rushing out in the middle of the night to the scene of an accident, was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I quit and headed west (after all, everything’s better out west, right?!). I found myself in the home of the World’s Largest Teepee in Alberta. Here I was trying my hand at lifestyle and entertainment reporting for the daily newspaper. While I loved the small city and made lots of new friends, I soon discovered that soft news was not for me. The writing I really enjoyed was agriculture. I left after one year and decided to go backpacking in western Europe. I met a few friends in Europe and had another life changing experience.
After returning from Europe and spending some time on the farm, I decided I wanted to be a part of the ag industry so here I find myself working in agricultural communications. This combines my passion for agriculture with my passion for writing and communications. Sometimes it takes awhile to find your niche. It’s alright to make a few turns here and there – eventually you’ll find the right path. Only God knows where my ag comm road will lead but I have no doubt that exciting things are on the horizon. My career goal is to wake up every morning excited to go to work, knowing that I’m making a difference in some small way. I know I’ve found my niche in ag comm and there’s nothing else I’d rather do. I believe that life’s too short to whittle away your days at a job you don’t enjoy. Do what you love and love what you do.
What’s your passion? Are you doing what you love?