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When Andrew Campbell says that your passions should lead your career path, he’s speaking from experience. Just six years after college graduation, Campbell has an array of experience working in broadcast media, agricultural communications and technology. He has recently launched his own business venture and partnered with his family in their farming operation. Allowing his strengths and interests to take the reins of his career path, Campbell’s story exemplifies success in agriculture.
Growing up on a family dairy farm near London, ON, Campbell has always been involved in agriculture.
But following high school, food and farming wasn’t on his post-secondary radar, radio journalism was. “I didn’t think that I wanted to work in farming. My dream job was to read the six o’clock news on the radio,” he says.
So after graduating from Fanshawe College with a diploma in broadcast journalism, Campbell chased after his dream and landed a full-time position with CKNX Radio in Wingham, ON. He worked as a reporter and weekend newscaster and then as a farm news editor with CKNX for three years. It was during his time editing farm news that Campbell was reconnected to his rural roots.
“I was living the life of a radio newscaster but as I transitioned to farm news editor, I was feeling very comfortable working in agriculture,” says Campbell. “I had forgotten how much I liked the agricultural sector and I began thinking that maybe a career in farming was meant for me after all.”
As Campbell was considering the idea of an agricultural career he was presented with an opportunity to join the media team at Farms.com, a provider of innovative information products and services focused in agriculture.
Campbell accepted the position of Interactive Media Editor and worked with Farms.com for two years.
In January 2010, Campbell and his wife, Jess, joined his parents in becoming partners in Bellson Farms, a dairy and crop operation.
But gaining more farm responsibility didn’t mean giving up his love for media and technology.
Campbell recently launched Fresh Air Media, a small communications consulting business with the purpose of educating, informing and inspiring agricultural groups and farmers about technology such as social media.
“Once educated and informed about new avenues of communication, farmers can’t help but be inspired about what we can do to reach out to consumers,” he says.
At Fresh Air Media Campbell guides agricultural groups and farmers in using new technological tools while providing freelance communication and public relations services.
With a few years of the professional world under his belt, Campbell believes that passion should lead your career decisions. “There is no sense in doing something that you don’t like doing so find something that you love to do and base your work around it,” he recommends.
Recognizing your personal strengths can be an effective first step in discovering your passions. And Campbell believes acknowledging individual strengths and weaknesses can add positive diversity to agriculture.
“I’m not well suited to engineering scientific innovations, but I enjoy communicating why we need technological breakthroughs — an example of an opportunity for researchers and communicators to work together,” he explains. “A diversity of professionals in agriculture can collectively move the industry forward.”
Citing energetic, passionate and organized as three traits key to professional success, Campbell also knows the importance of building a personal brand.
“Networking is often defined as meeting as many people as you can in your sector of interest but I think the most important part is making sure that the people you meet also know you,” he says.
“Show your energy and share your passion and you can create a niche market for work doing what you like to do.”
An excellent model of allowing your passions and goals to drive your career path, Campbell’s story demonstrates the wide range of professional opportunities available in agriculture and how personally rewarding your career decisions can be.
Connect with Andrew on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter or visit www.thefreshair.ca.