Keisha Rose Topic grew up riding on tractors and trampling through potato fields with her father and grandfather. R.A. Rose & Sons is a family-owned and operated farming and trucking company established by Robert Rose and carried on by his sons Myles and Boyd Rose of North Lake.
Keisha is the sixth generation of the Rose family, working the same land as her ancestors. She didn’t plan on a farming career after completing high school. Instead, she entered the science program at UPEI and later switched to the business program. She took a year off university to work on the family farm.
She graduated with a business degree from UPEI and secured employment with the Department of Agriculture in 2013. Keisha worked for two years as a crop insurance agent before returning to the family farm. She works at the family-owned potato packing facility, East Point Potato Inc.
Her duties include planting, maintaining, and harvesting potatoes, driving farm equipment, promoting and marketing potatoes, and whatever else needs to be done on the farm.
“I really enjoyed working with the Department of Agriculture,” says Keisha. “I visited different farms, did field checks and took samples of potato and grain fields. Meeting farmers was interesting, but I wanted to be on my own farm. I felt like I was neglecting the other part of what I was interested in.”
Job opportunities in agriculture and trades for women
“There are many job opportunities in agriculture for women,” says Keisha. “I suggest women should take time to think about what they want to do. Think outside the box and consider trades or jobs within the agriculture industry.
“You will be successful if you are willing to learn new things, find good mentors, and get to know the people involved in the industry.”
Transferable skills that fit agriculture
“Farming equipment is becoming very technical, so electrical skills would be a bonus,” says Keisha. “As well, people with machinery repair and welding skills are a huge benefit to the farm.
“Some labour jobs are disappearing because of advanced technology, but there is still room for people with some knowledge of the industry and a willingness to learn.”
“We are one of the largest employers east of Souris,” says Keisha. “At the potato packing facility, 17 to 20 people work about 10 months of the year. The farming operation employs four year-round workers.
“On the farm side of the business, our hiring needs are greater in the fall and in the spring. We always need about 15 more employees during the harvest season, and probably five to seven more employees during the planting season.”
“We look for people who are willing to work and willing to learn, who are team players and committed to the job.”
- Sales Manager
- General Manager
- Administrative Assistant
- Truck Drivers
- Machinery Operators
“Everyone, including the floor workers at the potato packing facility, starts at $15.00 per hour,” says Keisha.
How to apply
“We advertise on the Job Bank, but people can also drop by with a resumé,” says Keisha.
For more information visit www.eastpointpotato.ca.