My name is Marissa Gehlert, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Advancing Ag Future Leaders Program for 2018/2019. I grew up on a dairy/mixed farm in Parkland County, Alberta. As soon as I was old enough to bottle feed the calves and help out with chores I knew that the farm was my happy place. The older I became, the more I wanted to be a part of the daily operations at home and my hunger to learn was growing as well. After satisfying my desire to play college volleyball at a small Edmonton college, I ended up at the University of Alberta where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Crop Science. Although that was a major accomplishment in my books, I discovered I still had much to learn. I am passionate about what I am currently doing, supporting farmers and ranchers as a Certified Crop Advisor and retailer to help them accomplish their goals on their own farms. When I am not busy on the farm or working with my customers, my time is spent camping somewhere in the middle of nowhere with friends, family, and a four wheeler. During the winter months I am often found curled up reading a good book, or making beeswax candles.
Through the Advancing Ag program, I hope to build my agronomic knowledge and skill set while growing my advocacy for agriculture and network in the industry. I hope to pursue learning opportunities that otherwise would have been out of reach. When I look back a year from now I want to be proud to say that I have taken every opportunity to work towards my goals, taken every chance to learn something new, and to have shared the new knowledge and experience I have gained with others.