"The big challenge in my work is to achieve good results with animals. Animals don't talk so they can't tell you if they have problems. I have to figure it out."

The agri-food industry accounts for about 8.5% of the Canadian Gross Domestic Product.

In spite of all the technological advances the industry has seen, farming is still deeply rooted in nature. This aspect is what drew Valérie Houle towards a career in agriculture. She was looking for work where she could connect with nature and experience the seasons. Her job as a dairy farmer met all her expectations.

Did you know? More than 98% of all farms in Canada are family owned and operated.

Valérie knows that women have always been involved in agriculture but it's only now that women are taking their place as fully-paid workers, partners and even owners of agricultural enterprises. This is certainly a break with tradition and one that Valérie hopes will encourage more and more women to take their place in this field.

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Valérie is responsible for all aspects of her cows. But it's the genetics part of her work that especially fascinates her. She is in charge of artificial insemination. She firmly believes that the secret to increased milk production lies in improved genetics.

Valérie is aware of the lingering notions by some in the industry that women don't have the physical strength to do the job. It's simply not the case, especially with the modern equipment. But you still have to be in shape and in good health. Valérie spends the best part of the day on her feet, going from one task to another – no coffee breaks!


Education: DEC in Agricultural Techniques

Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, mountain biking and snowshoeing