Dear Graduate

“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” — Nora Ephron


Dear Graduate,

Congratulations! You’ve earned your diploma or degree and you’re on your way! Everyone is asking, “What will you be doing now? Where are going? Do you have a job?” The questions are well-meaning but relentless. The pressure feels immense.

You smile, nod and try to answer. Perhaps you’re stepping forward with confidence and conviction, goals outlined and a plan of action in place. But what if you’re not? What if you’re wavering, uncertain, concerned you’ll never know what you ‘should’ be doing?

First of all, that’s okay.

Most of us have felt that way, even those who don’t dare admit it. And guess what? Many of us don’t end up where we’d thought we be. That’s okay too — and actually often better than we imagined.

Trust that everything will work out.

If I could go back and chat with myself as I set out after high school and university, I would share that reassurance and these words of advice:

  1.   You aren’t required to have all the answers now. A specific life goal isn’t   necessary — you simply need a path to follow. Sometimes that starts with   knowing what you don’t want.
  2.   As you head down your path, know it’s okay to veer off and change direction.   Be determined but flexible.
  3.   Every stage of education is a stepping stone, a building block, leading you   where you’re meant to be. It is all worthwhile.
  4.   Ignore the pressure and expectations you feel from peers, teachers, parents   and society. Do what you love. Know that may change over time.
  5.   Believe in your abilities — to learn, to grow, to find your way. Don’t  compare your journey to that of others’.  This is yours. Own it.
  6.   Value and nurture the friendships you make along the way. Surround yourself  with positive people — those who lift you up and encourage you — especially when you fall. Keep your circle strong.
  7.   Always do your best, give 100% — not only in the things you love, but in those tasks or jobs which are bridges to your goals.
  8.   Be respectful and kind — even when those courtesies are not extended to you.
  9.   Trust when someone sees potential in you that you don’t even know exists. Take the chance when pushed outside your comfort zone. You’ll find out you’re far more capable than you knew.
  10.   Be open to new opportunities. Ask, “If I don’t do this now, will I regret it?” Let your inner voice guide you — it will not let you down.
  11.   Don’t be afraid to ask — questions, for help, for clarification — even for a raise or a promotion.
  12.   Never stop learning — personally or professionally.
  13.   No matter where you are, get involved with your community. Give  back in   whatever way you can. It is as good for you as for those you’re helping.
  14.  Take a break and recharge your batteries when needed. Enjoy the journey. Take the detours. The greatest rewards are often from the unplanned events in our lives.
  15. ‘Success’ does not depend on the opinion of others. Let your values and convictions guide you to your own definition of success.

So dear graduate aside set any fears and anxieties. Enjoy the celebrations. Graciously accept all the congratulations. Answer questions the best way you can, knowing you don’t have to give the ‘final answer’.

Take a deep breath, start down your path and simply put one foot in front of the other. Go after those new opportunities.

And remember, even when it feels like it isn’t working out, eventually it will. In time, you will get to where you are meant to be.

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Ag careers are waiting for you!

Dear Grad,

mirrorIt’s finally here – high school graduation! A long-anticipated, exciting time, perhaps filled with a bit of trepidation of what the future holds. Do you have a clear vision and goal of what you want to do and where you want to go? If not, why not consider a career in agriculture?

You don’t have to be from a farm, or even from a rural area. If you are at all interested in food and food production, the job opportunities are endless. All you need to bring to the table is a desire to learn.

Ag job factsCurrently 1 in 8 jobs in Canada are connected to agriculture and agri-food production. It is estimated by 2022 there will be 74,000 job openings in the Canadian agri-food sector but one third will go unfilled. There is an opening waiting for you!

While many jobs are directly connected to farming – agronomists, veterinarians, grain and livestock marketers, truckers, mechanics, financial lenders, auctioneers, salespeople – there are so many others related to agriculture.

Research is always ongoing – with plants, animals, soils and the environment along with food processing, transportation, refrigeration and storage. The science behind leading-edge technology and genetics is exciting and ever-changing.

Ag - food demand growthMethods of producing food go beyond the field to greenhouses, hydroponics and aquaculture. World food demand is set to grow by 60 per cent by 2050. The amount of land we have is limited but ideas and innovation for increasing food production are infinite.

Agricultural economics, policy and law play an important role in our industry. Negotiations and trade talks can involve travel all over the world.

As the number of people directly involved in farming continues to decrease, the importance of communication is increasing. We need writers, broadcasters, reporters and social media professionals to ensure factual information is clearly presented to consumers.

Home economists, dietitians and teachers have opportunities with every commodity group and organizations such as Ag in the Classroom, Farm & Food Care and The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity.

Manufacturing and engineering continue to evolve we strive to farm more efficiently. Computer programming, GPS and precision technology are all key in every aspect of our industry.

How about event planning? Conferences, trade shows, tours, meetings, educational and community-connection events all require skilled organizers and promoters.

The business of producing food for a growing world with limited resources is a complex team sport. There are so many facets to chose from – pursue an interest you’re passionate about and join our team! We’re excited to see what you bring to the table.


Check out these great videos showcasing the opportunities waiting for you!

Your Life – Your Agriculture  and Dreams Can Come True with Agriculture