Being a part of the Advancing Ag program has been extremely exciting so far. I managed to attend several ag extensions that are helping me reach my goals, as well as participating in great workshops that benefit me on my farming operation or eventually in the workplace.
To recap, in November, the program organised a leadership training workshop in Banff, AB and CorQuest Inc. ran all of the sessions and invited some great speakers to teach as well. The first day, CorQuest got all of the mentees to complete a personality survey which lead to us learning more about ourselves and how to work and communicate with people that have different personalities as we do. It was great to learn about myself and things that I can do to adapt to certain social environments and communicate properly. The next day, we had a speaker come in to talk about proper communication, verbal and non-verbal cues and how to be a good listener. This was an eye opener for me because I may feel like I’m listening but in reality, I actually get distracted by all of the background noise and other thoughts in my head. The final day we had our last speaker and he talked about ways to tell your story, tips to running a meeting smoothly, and good skills on how to be a successful leader. I enjoyed telling my story to the speaker because I am very passionate about my Ukrainian culture and how my family enjoys tradition. It really shapes who I am and I always love learning new things about the past whether if it’s how we used to farm, where my ancestors grew up which is where I also grew up, and even just learning about some great recipes that go back generations.
I attended several other events as well. I managed to get down to Red Deer, AB to visit Agri-Trade and see all of the new machinery, new technology and connect with my mentor Janine to learn more about what she does within ATB and met some of her colleagues. Then at the end of the month, I attended the FCC Young Farmer’s Summit in Camrose, AB. I listened to some great entrepreneurs and their story on how they got to where they are today, learned more about mental health and how important it is to take care of ourselves, and also learned how to make a memorable conversation. I got to experience that first hand with the man himself Stuart Knight. He is a great speaker and I would gladly hear him speak again.
Moving along into December, I was able to go down to Calgary, AB to attend Farm Forum which was a great learning experience. There were wonderful speakers and presenters like Dan Orchard who updated everyone about the clubroot talk, how to be prepared for it and how to prevent it as best as we can. I also attended Making the Grade and the Hedging Edge course. They were very valuable because I was able to learn more about my crops and how to properly market them for what they are worth. I also got to present at the Hedging Edge course along with a fellow mentee Steven Vincett to inspire young minds to participate in the Advancing Ag program and our experience with it thus far. In between, I was able to meet up with my mentor Janine to chat more about farm finance and management and gave me some tips on how I can get started on building my farming career.
Into the New Year of 2019, I took a trek all the way down to Lethbridge, AB to attend Agronomy Update. It was great to learn about all of the new discoveries and what is new for the upcoming crop year as well as being reminded about proper agronomy and scouting techniques. I will be attending Farm Tech at the end of January 2019 and I hope to meet some new people, see some familiar faces and learn new things! If you happen to see me, even if you don’t know me, please don’t be shy.
I am looking forward to the last half of the program and learning so much more. Please visit the website to learn more about what the mentees are up too and follow Advancing Ag on Twitter @AdvancingAg as well as me @CarlySchooly. If you are also interested in participating in the program, application time is open right now!
Thanks for reading and I’ll be giving another update closer to the end of the program.