Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in the agriculture industry will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Agriculture and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated agriculture field.
Career Options for Women -- Agriculture:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in agriculture:
- Deanna Johnson, a marketing representative who assists and makes purchases from grain producers
- Julie Couillard, a production coordinator who manages soil preparation, seeding, watering, and fertilization for an organic vegetable farm.
- Valérie Houle, a dairy farmer
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Agriculture video:
Deanna: Marketing Representative
Sometimes one’s career choice is ingrained from an early age. For farm marketing representative Deanna Johnson, it was a natural. She came from a community with only two major industries, oil and farming. After high school Deanna worked in the agriculture industry for seven years. Eventually, it became clear that in order to get a good, stable job, she would need to enhance her education with a college diploma.
While Deanna didn’t have a strong farming background, she really liked people in the agriculture industry and that was enough for her. Now Deanna enjoys a challenging and rewarding position with Cargill AgHorizons, buying grain from farmers.
A farm marketing representative can make a great living, depending on experience and where you work. Deanna works a regular 40 hour work week, but the busy harvest season often requires more hours.
She finds going out on site and interacting with the growers themselves is one of the most satisfying parts of her job. Good interpersonal skills are also key to success in her position. “Other women would like this job because it’s a challenging position. There’s satisfaction at the end of the day and every day is different.”
Julie: Production Coordinator
Julie Couillard is a production coordinator for an organic vegetable farm. Julie does everything from preparing the soil and sowing the seeds to watering and fertilization. She also packages and ships the final product to the customer.
The farm is operated on the basis of Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA). People help fund the farm activities and in return, are provided with organic vegetables on a weekly basis.
Julie likes her job because it allows her to spend her days outdoors. She currently makes minimum wage and says the only way to make more is to stay with the same employer for a long time. Her skills can be used in other areas of the industry such as in greenhouses, nurseries and other farms. Julie, however, likes her job and wants to remain in organic agriculture. “I like what I do now because I’m a strong believer in ecological agriculture.”
Growing organically can be a challenge without the usual pesticides to protect the crops. Julie monitors her vegetables closely to make sure they are getting everything they need to grow and prosper.
Julie’s days are between eight to ten hours, depending on the season. When she takes time out from her farming day, Julie still likes to be close to nature.
Valérie: Dairy Farmer
In spite of all the technological advances the industry has seen, farming is still deeply rooted in nature. This aspect is what drew Valérie Houle towards a career in agriculture. She was looking for work where she could connect with nature and experience the seasons. Her job as a dairy farmer met all her expectations.
Valérie is responsible for all aspects of her cows. But it's the genetics part of her work that especially fascinates her. She is in charge of artificial insemination. She firmly believes that the secret to increased milk production lies in improved genetics. “The big challenge in my work is to achieve good results with animals. Animals don't talk so they can't tell you if they have problems. I have to figure it out.”
Valérie is aware of the lingering notions by some in the industry that women don't have the physical strength to do the job. It's simply not the case, especially with the modern equipment. But you still have to be in shape and in good health. Valérie spends the best part of the day on her feet, going from one task to another -- no coffee breaks!
Valérie knows that women have always been involved in agriculture but it's only now that women are taking their place as fully-paid workers, partners and even owners of agricultural enterprises. This is certainly a break with tradition and one that Valérie hopes will encourage more and more women to take their place in this field.
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade Level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University