NSERC Chair for
Women in Science & Engineering

Laura Holtmann

"Go for it! It is exciting and is always changing"

Owner-in charge of Human Resources

Rosser Holsteins

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

I am a dairy farmer. We are a third generation farm. My 2 sons will be the fourth generation to dairy. I am very excited that our sons and their cousin will continue to farm. Some families aren't as lucky as young people are choosing other career paths. We are milking 630 cows and have 3000 acres of cropland for feeding the cows. Currently I am responsible for the Human Resources on our farm. My job includes payroll Benefits program, and scheduling our 16 employees milking and feeding shifts. Everyday is different on the farm. Many jobs to be tackled with the end result of producing a high quality food product....milk. I am very proud to be a dairy farmer in Canada and providing Canadians with their dairy products.

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 majority(95%) of our workforce is from the Phillipines. They are hard workers and very loyal to their employer. We train our employees fully. They do not need to have previous dairy farming experience. Some employees come with skills from their homeland where they had a farm or were employed in the agriculture industry. We can learn from them as well. We teach our employees about the agriculture industry in Canada every day at work. They are willing to learn about their new country. We have employed many nationalities over the years.

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

The advice I would give is that the opportunities are endless in Agriculture. More women are choosing to work in the ag industry in many capacities which is exciting to see. Equality in the workplace is getting better all the time. However we still need to support our young women to pursue whatever career they want. Mentorship programs can provide this support.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

Competitive Masters swimming, gardening, dragonboat racing, reading, baking and cooking, travel.

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

My goal is to share my experiences, knowledge, and support to a young woman in agriculture. She will be able to share with me her experiences in 2018 in agriculture from her perspective and what she hopes to contribute to the ag industry. Networking with women in agriculture is a goal of mine and is always a positive experience.