Véronique Gagnon Ham-Nord, Qc., Canada / 27 Agricultural Engineering BS, 2011 Université Laval Consultant Groupe Conseils Agro Bois-Francs (CCAE) During the first year of my degree program, an engineer who specialized in designing farm buildings presented his work to students. Voilà!—this was what I wanted to do! However, upon graduation, I accepted a job more focused on water management and soil conservation. I like working in the fields, and the position was created just for me! The agri-environmental advisory clubs (CCAE) are voluntary groups of agricultural producers. They provide members and customers leading-edge expertise in agri-environmental issues and support the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In the field, I’m in work clothes, with hands and boots full of mud. Although I spend time at the computer, I’m not a typical engineer in a pristine office! As a consultant, my work has varied scenarios—from creating specifications for a soil conservation project to lessen erosion (visiting the site, preparing plans, and supervising construction) to identifying drainage problems and finding solutions with a visit to a farmer’s fields. Aerial photos and elevation maps along with soil profiles are used to identify problems, and I’m then able to make recommendations to correct water management issues. I often prepare drainage plans after an on-site visit for soil sampling, which helps to identify how a field should be drained, with which drains (grade, length, depth, capacity), and the required spacing. I met my husband while working on the Laval ASABE student chapter’s 1/4 scale tractor design team—an unforgettable experience! He is also an ag engineer, works for an ag machinery company, and understands my work. We have a lot of common interests, one being our 15-month-old son.
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