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Bright minds: University of Saskatchewan’s college of agriculture and bioresources

  • 4 min read

Amy Carruthers

Program: Agribusiness

Hometown: Paradise Hill, Saskatchewan 

Why did you choose this path?

Growing up, I was often either helping feed cows on my family farm or working with my 4-H animals, but I didn’t always know I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. After buying a flock of sheep in middle school, I began to understand the importance of agriculture, both locally and globally. I sold frozen lamb to consumers in major cities such as Edmonton and Calgary. Interacting with customers born outside Canada gave me insight into their experience with the industry while demonstrating how agriculture and food can bring people from different backgrounds together. Seeing the value my customers gained from knowing where and how their food was produced inspired me to study agribusiness.

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?

“If you have the chance to travel while in school or after school, do it.”

I will have completed my master’s degree in agriculture economics, where I hope to study new and existing production practices in the beef and forage sectors. I want to determine which practices are the most economically efficient and profitable for farmers in Western Canada. Later, I see myself engaging with consumers and health professionals about common practices in Canadian agriculture. I believe it’s important for farmers and consumers to listen to and understand each other. I also hope to have my own farm with livestock such as sheep and cattle, selling these products directly to Canadians.

What tips do you have for others?

I am fortunate to be enrolled in a university that invests in the development of young leaders, and I recommend taking part in as many opportunities as possible while in university. I’ve made wonderful connections with professionals in the industry through networking events and summer jobs. Also, if you have the chance to travel while in school or after school, do it! I took a semester at HAS University in the Netherlands and gained a completely new perspective of our international agriculture industry. This experience had a tremendous impact on my personal and professional life.

David MacTaggart

Program: Crop science

Hometown: Lacombe, Alberta

Why did you choose this path?

“I wanted … to make food production more sustainable and accessible.”

It was my drive to care for the environment and support others through food. My family has been farming in Alberta since 1912, which instilled in me a passion for caring for the land. These came from moments like my grandpa telling stories about the Dust Bowl, where I learned we need to work with the land to be most productive. I’ve always appreciated the sense of purpose that exists when contributing to food production. Through beef and crop production, and teaching young people how to garden, I came to understand that I wanted a career in agriculture to make food production more sustainable and accessible to people in urban areas.

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?

I want to be developing my career and community. After completing my master’s degree, I intend to become involved in transmitting research findings to farmers via extension and, if possible, engaging in research. The demands of climate change and consumers are moving faster than ever, so I will devote my energy to assuring that farming practices can thrive in these changing times. In addition to my time with farmers, mentoring youth will also be key to my life. Through organizations such as 4-H, I will help young people strengthen transferable skills and see career opportunities in agriculture.

What tips do you have for others?

It’s taken me nearly four years of university to figure this out, but my biggest piece of advice is to stay balanced. Stay up to date with your schoolwork, but also identify the key things that make you happy and incorporate these into every week. This allows your feelings of stress to settle out so you can commit your full energy to your goals. For me, hosting people for dinner, helping young people and the elderly, and being outdoors help me refocus during the busiest times.

University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture and Bioresources:

  • Is committed to responsibly caring for the environment while finding solutions to meet the demands of a hungry and growing world
  • Has over a century of innovative products and practices that have transformed the world, enabled by world-class facilities: a state-of-the-art building, extensive animal facilities on and off campus, greenhouses, land for animals, crops and horticulture research, and associated field laboratories
  • Has programs and research that are focused on plants and animals; food, feed and bioproducts; soil, environment and ecology; and agribusiness and applied economics
  • Offers certificate, diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate degree training in a wide range of specializations
  • Its more than 1,670 students benefit from over $1.5 million in scholarships, bursaries and awards
  • Is ranked in the top 100 universities by QS World Rankings (2019) in the area of agriculture and forestry
  • Is committed to providing an exceptional learning experience and preparing graduates for leadership in the bioeconomy

From an AgriSuccess article by Owen Roberts.