NSERC Chair for
Women in Science & Engineering

Susan Ainsworth

"Go for it! It’s dirty, hard work but it’s extremely rewarding"

Owner/Agrologist

Stolon Glance Agronomy Ltd.

What is your job and what most excites you about what you do?

I own a potato agronomy consulting company. I assist potato growers in growing their crop by providing fertility recommendations, pesticide recommendations, soil and tissue sampling, irrigation management etc. I absolutely love what I do. Potatoes are an intensively managed crop and each cropping season provides a unique set of challenges. Quality is as important, if not more important than yield. New technologies such as spore trapping, satellite imagery, soil moisture probes, and disease modelling forecasts are being utilized. I specifically enjoy the challenge of growing a good crop and the continual learning. It’s a very rewarding career.

How diverse is your workplace, or your field of work as a whole? What do you think should be done to support greater diversity and create more inclusive practices in your workplace and in the Agriculture field?

The potato industry is quite small (although it is expanding). There are only a handful of potato agronomy folks in the province. I’m guessing that women would only account for 25-30% of the workforce. I’m not sure what could be done to support greater diversity.

What advice would you give to young women interested in a career in your field?

Go for it! It’s dirty, hard work but it’s extremely rewarding.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

Karate, cooking, teaching (I also instruct some distance ed. courses for the Prairie Horticulture Certificate through ACC)

What are you most hoping you will learn from your mentee? What learning goals do you have for this experience?

I am always interested in seeing and hearing things from a new perspective and I think younger women have a lot to offer the field of agriculture – I’d like to learn what interests them and hopefully provide them with support and encouragement.