(NC) -- In this day and age, we may have to go back several generations to find someone in our family who lived and worked on a farm.
In 1931, one in three Canadians lived on a farm. Today, it's just one in 46. Agriculture, however, is a cutting-edge industry with a diversity of career opportunities that many of us might not be aware of.
A third-generation Saskatchewan farmer, Margaret Hansen, says that her love of the farm started at a very young age. She knew early on that she wanted to be involved in agriculture.
She earned a bachelor of science in agriculture with a specialization in soil science, and afterwards she worked in the petroleum industry as an environmental consultant but says she was destined to return to agriculture. “The land always called to me and 11 years later I returned to my family farm. I feel very fortunate to operate a business that I love in such a dynamic industry.”
As Hansen points out, agriculture encompasses so much more than farming. Think about the scientists working behind the scenes to develop a new crop protection product to defend crops against an insect threat. And think about the researchers developing new biotech-derived crops that can fight disease or have improved nutritional value. Consider the sales, marketing and communications people talking about the technology and selling the products.
A career in agriculture can lead to being a cell biologist, a chemist, an aerial pesticide applicator, a geneticist, an agri-business manager, a seed-packing plant operator, a plant biotechnologist, or a lab technician. The list of opportunities is almost endless.
In Canada, agriculture is a $70 billion industry each year and it accounts for one in every eight jobs across the country. Not only is it vital to producing a safe and abundant food supply, it is also a key driver of our economy.