Thursday, 12 April 2012

Where Lakeland College can take you

 After my excitment of getting accepted to Lakeland College in the Animal Science Technology (AST) diploma, I had many people asking me, "Well what kind of career can you get with this education?" Many people were under the impression that this was a school to make a farmer, but it is much more than that. 

In order to truly tell you what you can do with a diploma in Animal Science, I have asked five of my thirty six classmates three questions; give me a bit of background and why you chose Lakeland, what is your favorite aspect of the AST program, and what are your future plans.

Brianna Baghsaw came from the very very small town of Birsay, SK. (Don't feel bad if you need to google map it to find out where it is, I did). She is a 5th generation mixed operation farmer, including grain and cattle. Brianna chose Lakeland because a friend from 4-H attended and absolutely loved her time there. She was able to convince Brianna to attend. The small class sizes made the decision final for Brianna, as it was an easy step from her small high school. Her favourite part of the AST program is all the hands on experience. "It's not all book work, you get to learn to do by doing, not just watching or reading about it!"

Brianna's summer will involve lots of fleece at the Elbow Multi Species project at Elbow,Sk. Her duties will include moving sheep and goats with her dog, Lacey, and horses during the grazing season. She will also be doing some fencing and kidding the goats. Brianna plans to stay involved in agriculture for the rest of her life. 

Brianna and Lacey

Brooke Lowes came from a large cow-calf operation of approximately 1700 head and 3000 acres at McAuley, MB.  She chose Lakeland because she wanted to do something with agriculture, and the university that she was attending did not offer an ag program. Brooke also liked that Lakeland also offers the hands on aspect in the Student Managed Farm, which isn't offered anywhere else.

"I enjoy how the teachers that teach you aren't just people who don't care to get to know your name or treat you as a number. They all have left industry jobs to come and teach the younger generations. They all have great passion for what they have done in industry which allows you as students to also develop passion as well as great industry contacts."

This summer Brooke will be returning home to the farm, where she will be calving the cows, artificially inseminating approximately 400 heifers and helping with their custom silage operation. In September, Brooke will be returning to school at either University of Manitoba or University of Saskatchewan to work towards her Bachelors in Animal Science.

Brooke roping calves at home.

Riley Isaacson came from a mixed farming operation near Viscount, SK. He chose Lakeland because of recommendations from friends who have attended. His favorite aspect was the environment created by people that go to school here and the fun that happens in addition to all the learning. This summer Riley will be working at a community pasture along the Montana border in Saskatchewan. His duties will include working on a 108 section, or 432 quarters, pasture with 5 horses. Riley will ride to rotate cows and rope sick cattle to treat them, as well as check fences. This position is part of the PFRA program.

Riley analyzing  pasture land.

Carolynne Vallee grew up in small oil town Bonnyville, AB. Her love for horses, animals and the outdoors contributes immensely to who she is and what she does. Carolynne chose Lakeland College because it was a school where she has the opportunity to work hands on with livestock and meet people from the agriculture industry.

Her favorite aspect of the Lakeland College AST program is how much hands on experience there is to gain and how tight-knit all the ag students are. Carolynne added that moving away from home for the first time is pretty intimidating. However, being a student in the AST program is like being part of a family. She also enjoys the small class sizes and the close student-teacher relationships.

This summer Carolynne will be working at the Lakeland Agricultural Research Association in Bonnyville. Aside from working, she will also be coaching the advanced drill team in her home town. In the fall Carolynne will be transferring to University of Alberta to finish her degree in Animal Science as well as complete her pre-requisites for vet school. Her long term plan is to get accepted to veterinary medicine where she plans on specializing in large animal practices and focus on equine medicine. Carolynne's dream is to own a practice in a rural area and make a career out of working with large animals.

Carolynne with her two favorite animals.

James Harbers traveled all the way from Iroquois, ON to attend Lakeland College. The reasoning behind this was to gain as much hands on experience he could in the agriculture industry. James grew up on his family's dairy farm, and became the President for the Lakeland College Dairy Club this past year. James found himself a part time job while in Vermilion, working for a grain farmer. James stayed in town this last summer to work at this farm, and he will be staying until Christmas this year to help out before returning to Ontario. 

James testing some college feed with fellow students. 
As you can see, the AST program at  Lakeland College can take you many places, including further education opportunities, working in government research stations or even just going back to the family farm. Lakeland College provides its graduates with great hands on experience that lets them live the learning, as well as providing excellent industry professionals to help the learning process. 


  1. Great job Rebecca best of luck to you and all the other second years who graduate this year. You guys will be missed

  2. Rebecca, Thank you...this makes me so proud of our students and our ag programs here at Lakeland! Josie