It’s been a positive experience so far for a woman who was one of the first people selected in the Wheat Growers Farmer Mentorship Program.
Carlie Bowditch says part of the reason she applied for the program is looking up to a member of the organization – Kaitlyn Kitzan – as well as a desire to know the process in agriculture policy making.
“She’s been a great connection and someone I admire very much,” Bowditch said of Kitzan. “She’s very involved and very passionate and doing great work for the ag industry and for women in leadership positions, she’s an overall rockstar.”
“I’ve been really trying to be a sponge these last couple of years. I know that government regulations and technology – everything is changing so fast and as a young agriculture producer that’s going to be things we’re going to have to take into consideration to make our operations a success moving forward, so I appreciate these young leaders programs and opportunities to be able to sit-in and see firsthand what organizations like the Wheat Growers are doing on behalf of farmers and be able to appreciate and maybe one day be a part of making a difference for Saskatchewan and overall Canadian farmers.” she said of learning the process behind agriculture policy.
She noted the Wheat Growers thought of having a mentor accompany the young farmers but decided not to as a mentor may limit their ability to make connections, so having the mentee connect with the entire board of directors, as well as choosing their own mentor, was the better route.
After being selected, she got to attend the Grow Canada Conference in Calgary with members of the Wheat Growers. While attending the conference, Bowditch heard different challenges facing the agriculture sector, met with prominent people within the industry, and re-iterated that change in the agriculture industry happens fast as one of her biggest lessons learned.
“How far technology has come in the last 50 years and the opportunities we have in the next 50 years, and that as farmers and ranchers we have to be smart about what technology we adopt but also really lean into the tools being provided and make sure that we’re doing things efficiently and using the technology that’s available to us.” Bowditch added.
She will be going to the Wheat Growers Convention later this month, on January 25th and 26th. Bowditch is looking forward to meeting with the rest of the board and other producers, as she noted the Grow Canada was more focused on industry professionals whereas the convention, she believes, is geared more toward farmers.
“It’s always nice to connect with fellow farmers and to see what’s new and exciting in their world and be able to reminisce and see what’s up-and-coming for the next season as well.”