Wide Open – Lindsay Verwey
In her last year of high school, Lindsay had no idea what her next steps would be, but knew she wanted to run her own business one day. She also knew she wanted to stay close to her home near Portage la Prairie.
So, based on what she heard from students and from people in the agriculture industry, she decided to come into the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Diploma in Agriculture program at the U of M; a mere 45 minute drive from home.
Initially, Lindsay set out to pursue the business option offered in the program to learn business terminology and hone her business acumen. However, when she saw the array of livestock courses, she took every one related to cattle possible.
“I grew up on a mixed farm with cereals, oilseeds, potatoes, soybeans, dairy and beef cattle. My largest role in the operation has always been with the cattle. I’ve been involved with 4-H since grade three and Canadian Charolais Youth Association before I can even remember. I’ve been working with cattle all my life.”
Aside from the practicality of courses, the countless farm and industry tours, and, as she says, the legendary professors and instructors, Lindsay says it all comes down to the people.
“We were told on day one, that these 80 other kids were going to be life-long friends and industry connections,” she recalls. “That was it. And I think it’s easy to say, it didn’t take long for all of us to see that.”
Currently, she serves as president for the Manitoba Junior Charolais Association and is in the planning stages for the 2018 National Canadian Charolais Youth Association conference. Next year, she plans on traveling to New Zealand to work on a dairy farm and looks forward to experiencing an entirely different structure than Canada’s supply management system.
Before defining her career path, Lindsay intends working either on-farm or in the agriculture retail sector when she returns. When asked about what she would say to a young person considering entering the program, she says, “Do it! If you’re considering it, it’s worth it.”
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences offers diverse programs where students are able to focus on what matters to them, whether it’s environmental stewardship, animal and plant care, commodity markets, human nutrition, or food safety. Along the way, students build the skills and knowledge that can take them from the field, to the research lab, to the boardroom. For students of Agricultural and Food Sciences, the options are – literally—wide open.