COMM0015 Gaby Parent: Discussion 1 – Highlights of Trend Reports

What is hard for me in my job is to sort through all the information concerning the industry I work in. I work with the horticulture and agriculture industry. I mostly work with anything to do with farming. However, I am not a farmer. I have not been raised on a farm. I grew up in a small town, but that is nothing compared to growing up on a farm. This makes it harder for me to understand the importance of certain trends popping up. I often don’t even know that they are trends. What I did notice is something that is close to my heart: the importance of women in agriculture. That is a trend that I am noticing because a woman’s rights have always been important to me. I sponsor two girls to help them have a better life and higher chances for a good education and future. I read, talk, research, and listen to whatever material I can find about how one can help create an equal world for minorities. So, when I noticed that many articles were being written about noticing women in agriculture, it got me thinking. I started to read more about it. I think it is a trend that is important in the industry I work in because it opens a lot more doors to the agricultural world. We are struggling to get a younger generation to take over growing food for the world. Women play a big part in that. Getting more support, more tools, more gender stereotypes broken and updated, are vital steps for a bigger and stronger future in farming.

Apart from that trend that connects strongly with my values, the other big one is how city folks are wanting to get back to the land and grow their own food. Because our goal is to help young adults go on international work placements in agriculture and horticulture, to have a potential new audience of that size will greatly influence the kind of placements we will offer, and how much training we will ask of all these people. World Wide Organisation of Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a big potential rival for this audience because they don’t ask practical experience for their farm placements compared to us. However, they are volunteer placements, while our placements are paid. This gives us a lot of food for thought as to how to reach this new audience and how to adapt our program to a new generation of potential farmers.

I still find it hard to fit in the farming industry. I see jokes posted online that I don’t understand. However, reading the comments, I see that most farmers laugh at it, so I post it on our social media. We get a great response, but here I am standing in a crowd of people with whom I can’t converse live without having to research most of what we are talking about. I think that is my most unexpected discovery. I came to work for this non-profit because I work in horticulture and I am bilingual. To find myself taking care of online marketing was quite unexpected. To discover the vast and interesting world of agriculture was even more unexpected. I am giving myself time to immerse myself in a new world and new job. I will get there, eventually.

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