For this year’s International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the women of EMILI and their diverse roles, skills, and backgrounds. 

Digital agriculture is a dynamic sector that doesn’t only take place on the farm, but also in offices, computer labs, factories, classrooms, and more. It’s an industry made up of many different types of jobs, technologies, and people, all contributing with a wide array of experiences and expertise. The women at EMILI reflect this, and each of them brings a unique set of skills and perspectives to the table to advance our work in digital agriculture. 

Learn more about the team in the following excerpts. Make sure to follow the links to read each woman’s full story on LinkedIn.

What’s your favourite part about working in digital agriculture?

Jennifer Cox – Communications Manager

Storytelling and making community connections are the best part of my job. I love being able to connect with inspiring individuals who have a vision for increasing sustainability in our environment and our economy. There are people doing really innovative things to make our food system more sustainable and it is a real privilege to share their stories. I am constantly inspired by the high caliber of work taking place in digital agriculture and agri-food right here in Manitoba. Read Jennifer’s story.

Brittanie Parisien – Skills and Talent Research Analyst

My favourite part is bringing awareness to the limitless career opportunities the sector has to offer. Specifically, I like getting youth interested and excited about possible career paths in digital agriculture, and making it an enticing sector. Digital agriculture is full of possibilities, regardless of your previous experiences or interests. There seems to be something for nearly everyone. I know this first hand, as I am someone who does not have an agriculture background, but I found a space I enjoy and can succeed in. Read Brittanie’s story.

Leanne Koroscil – Innovation Farms Manager

Digital agriculture technologies have enhanced our understanding of agricultural practices, and we’ve learned so much during this exciting and rapid evolution. There is so much more to learn and explore going forward – the potential is vast! Read Leanne’s story.

What brought you to your current role at EMILI?

Rachel LeClair – Skills and Talent Manager

After relocating to Winnipeg during the pandemic, I was looking for a role that would combine my interests in project management, stakeholder engagement, and community development. I had no prior experience in agriculture, but knew I wanted to work in the non-profit sector focusing on youth development. When I came across this role at EMILI, I was intrigued by the research component, and was interested in trying something new and developing new skills in an innovative field. Read Rachel’s story.

Talia Thomson – Marketing and Communications Specialist

My husband and I moved to Winnipeg from Toronto for his work, and I knew this was my chance to find a role in agriculture. A friend of a friend put EMILI on my radar and I was immediately hooked by the scope of their work. In the end, my past experiences in writing, communications, and event management got me a job in agriculture at EMILI. Read Talia’s story.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in digital agriculture?

Jacqueline Keena – Managing Director

There is definitely a great, meaningful and well-paid job for you in agriculture, no matter what skillset or area you currently work in. Agriculture is core to Canada’s continued prosperity, and there are so many reasons to be excited about working in the industry. You can contribute to the development and integration of new innovations that drive sustainability and productivity while increasing global food security. Plus, you’ll get to work with some of the kindest and hardest-working people out there. Read Jacqueline’s story.

Madison Marinic – Policy and Research Analyst

You don’t need to have a background in agriculture to bring value to the industry. Before joining EMILI, I completed my masters degree in history. The majority of my work experience was in the academia sphere through teaching assistant roles, volunteer positions at museums, and working for the University of Manitoba’s student union. In digital agriculture, there are many organizations across the value chain that benefit from a robust workforce with diverse perspectives. Read Madison’s story. 

This profile is part of EMILI’s This is Agriculture series, highlighting talented and diverse individuals across the digital agriculture sector. While individuals working in agriculture come from a variety of backgrounds, they share a common interest in growing and strengthening Canadian agriculture to ensure an environmentally and economically sustainable future for generations to come.