by Gloria Welton
At the age of 30, Laurie Loane, Executive Director, PEI Agriculture Sector Council, was asked about her career passion for the first time.
“I worked at everything from education to business to management, and I was back to working in education in Nova Scotia when I was asked about my career passion,” says Laurie.
“No one had asked me that before. I had to stop and think about whether I was in the right place workwise in my life. What did I want to do every day? What made me get out of bed looking forward to the day and what made me feel good at the end of the day? The first thing I thought of was being directly in an agriculture career, which has been my ambition since I was young.”
She says it took someone asking that question to realize she was in the wrong job. “In 2014, I applied for the Executive Director position with PEI Agriculture Sector Council and moved back to PEI. This job encompasses my education, management skills, finance skills, and my passion for agriculture.
“I was fortunate to grow up on a farm on the Island. My parents raised purebred Angus cattle and swine for many years. My dad and mom decided in 1971 to quit their jobs and come home to farm full-time. The skills I learned over the years on the farm can be transferred to many other areas of work.
“I feel very fortunate to have found this career. At the end of the day I come home to work on the family farm. I passed on to my children the message of stopping to think about their career choices. Both of my children love being on the farm and are heavily involved in agriculture, and I am sure they too will find a place in agriculture as they continue to explore.”
Agriculture job choices are growing
The PEI Agriculture Sector Council has been in operation for almost 30 years. “Over the years, we have seen the diversity of agriculture-related jobs grow. One in eight jobs in Canada are related to agriculture. There is everything from farming, banking, teaching, agri sciences, crop specialist, management roles, safety, and more.
“Agriculture careers are so vast. You could be running a farm, owning a multimillion-dollar company, banking, nutrition, teaching – there are so many different avenues where people work in agriculture.”
Where to find job postings
“The Agriculture Sector Council manages a job posting site which farmers really appreciate. We have that personal connection with our farmers and other employers, and we can help them connect to those looking for work.
“Our employment officer helps employers create the job ad and helps those trying to find a job in agriculture. They also post new jobs on social media every day to give people an opportunity to apply.
“Using social media has been very effective, but I think in agriculture the job seeker still needs the personal interaction to help connect with employers.
“Typically, there can be up to 200 jobs posted every month for positions such as labourers, food specialists, safety officers, and other roles on farms and with companies here on PEI.”
To find agriculture job postings, visit www.peiagsc.ca/employment.php
Specific training available on PEI
The Blue Seal Farm Technician Apprenticeship program will start January 11, 2021. Tuition for the program is 100 percent subsidized by SkillsPEI. Apprentices must be EI eligible and have 1,000 hours work experience in the agriculture industry.
For more information, visit www.peiagsc.ca/farmtech.php
For more information about careers in agriculture, call the PEI Agriculture Sector Council at 902-892-1091.