Kaleigh Gray - Research Associate/Safety Technician at Monsanto Canada

Kaleigh Gray

Research Associate/Safety Technician at Monsanto Canada

I was born/grew up in: The Pas, Manitoba, Canada

I now live in: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

I completed my training/education at: MBCI Highschool in The Pas, Then a BSc in Agriculture and MSc in Plant Biotechnology at the University of Manitoba majoring in genetics and plant physiology.

Describe what you do at work.

Key activities that I have done throughout my career include hands on planting, sampling, crossing, harvesting and threshing canola plants. It would be considered acting like a "Bumble Bee" to pollinate flowers but selecting the best plants to combine in order to get the best seeds for the next generation. I have actively used math and in particular genetics in order to figure out plant population sizes for planting and for successfully creating and contributing to commercial projects that are planted by farmers all across Canada. I use my science knowledge everyday from chemistry and biology in order to grow healthy and successful plants in an indoor greenhouse environment. I read and write scientific literature in order to report and to problem solve real everyday problems on the job.

This can include chemistry for fertilizer formulations, physiology to understand disease symptoms, symbiotic relationships between bacteria and plants, math to calculate different things such as "do we have enough space in the building?" and for budgeting purposes such as capital purchases.

I currently manage a large team of staff that work in the greenhouses and coordinate all of the activities that are required in order to meet tight deadlines and create high quality products for Canola at Monsanto. I also act as safety technician for the site. This includes overseeing many safety programs such as waste water management and housekeeping. Understanding both health and the environment have contributed to having a successful safety program at work!

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

My career is built on values that strive to create sustainable agriculture. This means that my goal everyday is to produce products that will feed the world's growing population while maintaining and improving environmental sustainability. My career is based on maximizing technology and always thinking into the future. Working in my job contributes significantly to the food crops planted all around the world!

What motivates you in your career?

My career is fast moving, we are always changing and adapting how we do things. We adopt new technology, use Ipads, IPhones and apps as tools and work with some of the best research being done in the world. Everyday brings new challenges. We work on process improvements that can have an impact on our everyday work as well as on a global scale. My career has been fulfilling and exciting. I enjoy working at my job because I work in a progressive environment that encourages work life balance as well as innovation and safety.

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

My education consists of a BSc. in Agriculture majoring in Plant science and an MSc in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Manitoba. I focused on biotechnology, genetics and physiology. I did not grow up on a farm but had a strong interest in pursuing education that would take me to a career in Agriculture.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I have a wide range of hobbies and a busy family of 5. I have 3 kids who are active in many activities! I love running, zumba, piano, golf, camping, hockey and the list goes on and on!

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

Try to follow a career doing what you are good at and what you enjoy! You will be more successful in the long run.

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit http://www.explorecuriocity.org/careers.







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