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Leah Clark

Provincial Cattle Specialist
Government of Saskatchewan
Leah Clark debout dans un champ d'agriculture
Leah Clark debout dans un champ d'agriculture
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Leah Clark is the Provincial Cattle Specialist for the Government of Saskatchewan.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In my early years, I grew up surrounded by research at the University of Saskatchewan’s Research Farm right on Campus. I have also spent a lot of time at our families Beef Cattle Operation just west of Saskatoon.

I now live in: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

I completed my training/education at: I undertook an undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan where I majored in Animal Sciences and minored in Rangeland Resources. From there I completed a Master’s Degree at Western Beef Development Center (a beef extension facility in Saskatchewan). From there I took an internship and when through the process of becoming a Professional Agrologist with the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists. I have made it a goal to never stop with formal learning. My employer actively supports me in taking programs and workshops that help me to develop my skills.           

What I do at work

Every day is a different day in my job. I thrive on pressure and new experiences and this position matches me well. I use my background in science and research to help work with industry stakeholders and producers. I am passionate about agriculture and for providing safe affordable food to people.  My job plays into this.

My job tends to be a bit reactionary at times. When issues within the beef industry that could affect Saskatchewan producers come up, we have to deal with them. For this reason, I get to make a variety of connections and get to work on many different subjects. I work with a team in most cases to make decisions and problem solve. The key to my success is realizing that I don’t have, and will never have, all the answers or full background to do everything I need to do. Therefore, working with a team and developing networks is essential.

I work in the Livestock Development Unit where we work on government goals and strategic priorities related to building a strong Livestock sector. I also have the privilege of working closely with other branches including Research and Regional Services (our extension unit).

My career path is

I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school. Even after a couple of years studying Agriculture, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do and looked into getting into teaching. Once I was in the education program, I realized I wanted to educate adults and work in the agriculture industry. So I stayed where I was and focused on Ag extension. My current job came from me taking opportunities as they arose. Opportunities aren’t always clearly opportunities; sometimes they are jobs others don’t want to do. However, if you can do these jobs and deliver good work you will be noticed. I believe in work ethic and integrity and I believe that if you work with those two principles, opportunities have a way of finding you.

I am motivated by

I love the fact that I am involved with the problems of the industry and working to help find solutions to them. I love that I am able to be a part of the beef industry but in a different form. One of the biggest compliments I get is a call from a producer happy with the advice I gave. This career has been so rewarding to me so far. I love the ever-changing fast-paced environment working in an industry I love. I also have a great team that I work with.

How I affect peoples’ lives

Beef Cattle production is not just a business; it is a way of life. This lifestyle is the one that I grew up in and still have family living. I feel that Cattle production is one of the most misunderstood agriculture practices. Beef Cattle producers are a passionate bunch that care about the environment, sustainability and animal welfare. It fulfills me in my work knowing that I am helping those boots on the ground.

Outside of work I

My biggest stress reliever is walking. I always make time to get out for a walk as weather and time permits. I also take time to volunteer with school science programs and at our local museum. I also work with a local program called Agriculture in the Classroom.

My advice to others

Don’t stop learning! I am a naturally quiet person and have had to work at public speaking and putting myself out in groups to meet people. This is an important aspect of any career. Realize that you can learn something from absolutely everyone that crosses your path. Find mentors and use them. Most professionals are more than happy to work with young vibrant people in the industry. One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received is that you spend the most time with yourself so your personal dialogue can have the most impact on your own success. Finally, be nice!

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Math
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Industrial Arts
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked reading
  • Never wanted to be in the classroom
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked to design or build things
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing, berry picking and hunting

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