Mathieu Ricard L’Assomption, Qc, Canada / 28 Agricultural Engineering, B Eng, 2011 Université Laval Irrigation Specialist/Owner Irrig-Expert, Crabtree, Qc. I own Irrig-Expert, a company specializing in the design, sale, and installation of agricultural irrigation systems. The range of products we offer allows our customers to realize their dreams—a pumping station, center pivots, self-propelled rail, linear underground pipes. My company team is young and dynamic, and our mission is to offer our agricultural clients a product that exactly meets their needs. During my degree program, I interned as a technical representative for Hortau, a new irrigation monitoring company. They weren’t offering internships at the time, but I was so interested in learning more about irrigation that I talked them into trying me out as an intern. I installed probes and data loggers on farms, tested prototype equipment, and represented the company at a summer show. I traveled around the province but was based at St. Romuald near Quebec City. When I graduated, I found a job with MacDon in Winnipeg as a field test technician. I visited 16 states during my six-month contract. The position involved traveling, and it brought me my first plane flight! I flew dozens of times throughout the U.S. and Canada to test different prototype and preproduction hay equipment. However, I was usually alone in my truck with just my tools, and it was an amazing adventure: on the freeways occasionally, but more often on two-lane highways in out-of-the-way places that held much charm. When an opportunity came to start my own company, specializing in center pivots was a natural. There was a need in Quebec—no distributor of center pivots in the entire province! I brought site-specific calculation and design into play, using the right pump station, optimal pipe diameter, and efficient flow for the soil culture. This is my dream job—working in the field, applying theoretical concepts to optimize yield, making my own schedule, and traveling!
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