Confident in a future that included leaving her family farm and working in an office, Erin L. went off to study international business and marketing in Toronto. Today, though, she is back on the farm and loving it.
The second-generation farmer had no intentions of farming, and so studied international business at Seneca College and then Ryerson University for marketing which included an exchange program for a year in Hong Kong.
Following her graduation, Erin L. was hired as a market development specialist for a seed company. After a year with that company, Erin L. was offered to work on the family farm with her parents and her brother. She returned, and two years later cannot imagine working anywhere else.
“I had no expectations going in (to farming), but am thankful for what I’ve had the chance to do. I couldn’t imagine having the opportunity for so much personal growth in a different job.”
“Having the ability to take on so much responsibility at such a young age is very good for me. I definitely like being outside, setting my own schedule and meeting people from all walks of life.”
The farm began small, with Erin’s parents, Alain and Sue, farming part time until 10 years ago. Now it is a large and diverse operation raising corn, soybeans and wheat on its land as well as incorporating a grain elevator, a seed dealership, trucking and marketing services into its business.
Although Erin could be doing any job on any given day at the farm, her main role is in grain marketing – a good fit for her university degree or managing the seed dealership. She is involved in the agricultural industry as a delegate for the local grain farmers and a delegate for the local soils and crops association. She also attends a large number of trade shows and events across North America. When possible, she travels to see agriculture in other areas.
She and her brother, Pat, play and sponsor a local baseball together, as well as farming some land which they each own.
It is vastly different than the future she envisioned for herself when she left for school, but Erin is happy with the choices she has made. And now believes she has a mission to advocate; break stereotypes in agriculture, and help educate consumers on the food they eat and how its produced.