By Jamie Fischer, Communications Branch
Caylee Dorval doesn't remember a time when she wasn't a part of her family farm. Whether it was spending time in the tractor with her dad, or lending a hand as soon as she could walk, farming was always a part of her childhood.
Caylee's grandfather, Charles Dorval, bought D over D Farms in 1959. Her father, Richard Dorval, now runs the farm, with help from the rest of the family.
"It's cool to be a part of something that's a legacy from my grandpa to my dad to now me and my brother," she said.
Now, she's hoping it's part of her future, too.
As the grand-prize winner of the 2019 Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship, Caylee received $4,000 towards her tuition at Lakeland College, where she plans to study animal science technology.
Caylee Dorval, this year's scholarship winner, at her family farm.
Caylee's winning scholarship video application expressed how she's proud to be a part of food production from the farm all the way to the grocery store. In the video, Caylee explains her role in raising cattle on her family farm, how herd health is the number one ingredient in producing healthy and nutritious beef, and how her passion for the industry has driven her to choose agriculture as a career.
Part of what drew Caylee to the animal technology program at Lakeland College is the hands-on and student-led experience offered through her classes. The course includes a student-managed farm, where students are completely responsible for running the operation.
Caylee said finding out her video submission won the Agriculture Student Scholarship was exciting and she's incredibly grateful for the opportunity to pursue her passion for animal agriculture.
"You get to watch something grow up from a baby calf and you know when you sell it you're helping feed the world," she said. "We always butcher our own steers and it helps feed our family and I have a passion for how when you're farming you're making an actual difference in the world."
She's hoping to work as a livestock and feed representative while still working on her family farm once she's completed her education.
Her upbringing influenced her choice to focus her studies on animals.
Caylee's passion for working with animals started when she was just a kid. She's always ridden horses, and she was part of her local 4-H club, where field trips and participating in local horse shows were always educational and enjoyable.
She said her experience with 4-H helped shape her passion for the industry. "It really connects you to agriculture and you learn a lot." She has also developed leadership skills that have made positive changes in her community.
On top of schoolwork, 4-H, and helping on the farm, Caylee works for her local grocery store packing meat for shoppers.
She said the experience has helped her understand firsthand what it takes to get products from a ranch to a family's dinner table. She has also learned the importance of food safety.
"To be part of the retail industry and cut meat has helped me understand where beef goes after it leaves the farm and to truly understand how food gets to consumers and how many people it takes along the way to make that happen," she said, "it gives you a higher appreciation for your food."
The experience has also helped her understand common misconceptions about the beef industry, and how she can help to correct them.
"We really do give our cattle the best care to raise healthy and safe beef," she said about her farm, adding she sees the same level of care in the retail industry.
With her diploma in animal sciences, Caylee is looking forward to continuing that tradition of care and advocating for the industry she's grown up in.
"It's important for me to stay in agriculture because as years go on I think more people are leaving the farm and it's important to stay connected so my family can always be in agriculture."
Congratulations Caylee on winning the 2019 Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship.
The Agriculture Student Scholarship is funded through the Public Trust pillar of the federal-provincial-territorial Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
***This article was first published in the July 2019 edition of Agriview