CANADA’S INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT!
by Kelsey Banks, Sales & Project Management Intern, AgCareers.com
Editor’s Note: Discover the path one young professional took to find a successful career in the industry.
At 25 years of age, Stefanie Nagelschmitz is the Farm Show Team Lead and Communications Coordinator for Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show held in Woodstock, Ontario. Exhibitors and attendees from all over the world attend this show and Nagelschmitz plays a major part in making sure Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show is successful through strategic event planning and marketing.
SELECTING A PATH
To get to where she is today Nagelschmitz worked hard and let her love for the agricultural and food production industry lead her towards the many different opportunities this industry offers.
Growing up on a dairy farm outside of London, Ontario, Nagelschmitz has always been a part of the agricultural and food production industry. When trying to decide where to pursue her postsecondary education she knew one thing; she wanted to go to the University of Guelph, but what program?
After being torn between programs, the deciding factor was Nagelschmitz knew she would never get tired of the nonstop learning about new things when it came to agriculture and the food production industry. Consequently, she then studied for a bachelor of science in agriculture. She also knew the agricultural and food production industry would continue to motivate her to learn, grow, and develop as a person and as a part of the industry.
During her time at the University of Guelph Nagelschmitz was actively involved in many extracurricular activities that helped her get to where she is today.
Some of the extracurricular activities that Nagelschmitz was involved in were; student government, President of the Student Federation of the Ontario Agricultural College (SFOAC), on the Senate for the University, College Royal Society, Class Executive and working with the Residence Life Staff. Nagelschmitz says, “Extracurricular are a great way to build a lot of the transferable skills needed in the workplace.” These extracurricular activities helped Nagelschmitz’s skills and strengths develop.
VALUABLE WORK EXPERIENCE
Along with participating in extracurricular activities throughout her post-secondary education she also had a variety of summer jobs within the agricultural and food production industry.
During one university summer Nagelschmitz worked for Scott Banks of Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food/Ministry of Rural Affairs as a Field Crops Technician. Another summer she conducted research at the University of Guelph while taking courses part time. She then spent the next summer working in Germany at a pick-yourown strawberry farm. It was working on the Agriculture Media Committee at the Calgary Stampede and also working for Owen Roberts, Head of Research Communications at the University of Guelph, that helped further her interest in agricultural events and communications. Her passion and hard work helped her get to where she is today.
A FOCUS ON SKILLS
Nagelschmitz’s skill set is extremely broad allowing her to be flexible and helps make Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show an annual success. Her skills include being a good communicator, having the ability to think quickly and handle the unexpected on her feet, organization, and the willingness to get her hands dirty. By possessing these skills, Nagelschmitz has been able to keep an open mind and let the opportunities for herself and Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show become endless.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Nagelschmitz’s advice to students and new graduates is valuable and students should try to keep it in mind. “It is important to always keep doors open and your mind open. A lot of the best opportunities are the ones you can’t plan for. But, being flexible will give you the ability to adapt or take the opportunity that you didn’t know existed.” With Nagelschmitz’s final words of advice to new graduates and students, we wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors.