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Bright minds from McGill University’s Macdonald Campus

  • 3.5 min read

McGill University faculty of agricultural and environmental sciences:

  • Large waterfront campus offers exceptional learning and teaching facilities with a working farm, greenhouses, poultry, swine and dairy facilities, crop and horticultural facilities and research, a manufactured wetland and a 250-hectare arboretum.
  • Focus is on learning through experience.
  • Extensive exchange and internship programs.
  • Programs in animal and plant production, ecological agriculture, professional agrology, bioresource engineering, global food security and international agriculture, agricultural economics and agribusiness, as well as environment, food and nutrition, and life sciences.
  • Undergraduate and graduate programs, post-undergrad certificates and a diploma program in farm management and technology.
  • Consistently ranks well – McGill is number 35 in the world in the QS rankings and number 1 in Canada in its category in Maclean’s university report.
  • Offers a strong sense of community with smaller classes and a low student/teacher ratio.

Janine Lock

Program: B.Sc. Agro-Environmental Sciences

Major: Agronomy and Animal Production

Why did you choose this career path?

I was raised in rural Nova Scotia and Uruguay and always loved to be outside in the sun, rain and snow. As a kid, on joining 4-H, my love of agriculture grew stronger. I continue to be captured by the diverse and dynamic aspects of this ever-changing field. In the past several years, I’ve been involved with crop research, holistic feedlot management, soil health and Indigenous reindeer farming in the Arctic in Finland. I also adore how this career brings together community and social impact through the stewardship of land, water and animals.

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?

Right now, it’s hard for me to name the exact job. So many things interest me – soil science, beef and sheep production, Indigenous agricultural systems, veterinary medicine and agriculture advocacy. Regardless of where I’ll be in agriculture, I want to be engaged in creating long-lasting, environmentally and economically sustainable social impact through issues such as soil protection, food security, and animal health, stress and management. I also hope to give back to my local, national and global community through organizations like 4-H, Macdonald Campus Women in Agriculture Club, and Agriculture in the Classroom.

What tips do you have for others?

Every day I try to push my physical, mental and emotional limits so I’m just outside my comfort zone and in what I call the learning zone. It’s by taking these meaningful risks in all aspects of my life, agriculture and otherwise, that I’ve made my deepest connections, my hardest failures, my biggest discoveries and ultimately, my greatest growth. It may not always be easy to push boundaries and broaden personal and professional horizons, but I promise it will always be worth it!

Mark Ruiter

Program: Farm Management and Technology

Major: Agronomy and Animal Production

Why did you choose this career path?

My agriculture career started young on my family’s dairy farm, where we milk around 45 cows. I believe attending the Macdonald campus for agriculture in the Farm Management and Technology program will lead to a prosperous career in the ag industry. I see agriculture being around for generations because — let’s face it — we all need to eat every day. Agriculture is a forever-evolving industry where the next generation of farmers are embracing technology to assist in their day-to-day duties.

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?

I see myself going back to the family farm and working alongside my parents. Going back to the farm full-time would include taking on more responsibility around the farm. The short-term goal is to work in other areas of agriculture to gain more experience that I can take back to my farm in later years. A farmer’s pride and dedication for their work is why I’m in this industry.

What tips do you have for others?

Never stop learning. The second you stop learning you stop growing as a person. As every farmer knows, you learn something new every day. Always keeping an open mind to learning will give anybody looking to get into agriculture all the skills they’ll ever need. Another tip I have for someone looking to go to post-secondary school in agriculture is to be social. School can be a little dry sometimes, but that’s what friends are for. These friends will be there long after school, and this form of networking will be worth more later in life than we know now.

From an AgriSuccess article by Owen Roberts.