Western College of Veterinary Awesomeness!

I visited the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Check it out!

At 0:43 the Dean explains what is unique about studying at WCVM (Hint: no other veterinarian schools in Canada have this opportunity.) At 0:58 you’ll learn some important tips for applying (it’s a tough process!) At 2:10, veterinarians explain what they love most about their jobs and at 3:05 I get a crash course in cow anatomy!  Enjoy!!

 

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Are you Thinking Ag?

Maybe you should be.

Feeding the world is a big job. Big world, big job. There are an estimated 7 billion people on this planet. In case you didn’t know, Saskatchewan ships (literally) tonnes of grain exports all around the globe. How are we able to produce so much? Technology and innovation.

Obviously we’ve progressed from the days of the horse and plough.

But did you know that tractors and combines have more than just mechanical parts? Most have GPS systems that keep your seeder perfectly positioned every row of the way. By avoiding overlapping, producers save fuel and time. Some boast technology that accurately controls the amount of fertilizer released, so crops get the exact amount they need for the highest yield.

Farming is all about efficiency. Technology and efficiency go hand-in-hand.

Not only that, but there are hundreds of different career opportunities in agriculture. I caught up with some Mossbank high school students who were learning about these opportunities at the South Country Equipment John Deere Dealership in Emerald Park.

The point of this career day: For students to see that there are unique, progressive and rewarding jobs working in agriculture. (Below I’ll be talking about a few cool jobs related to machinery and equipment, this only scrapes the surface of jobs in agriculture, for more, visit – http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/careers)

Having not grown up on a farm, this was all new to me. I didn’t get it. I’d never considered the importance of accuracy, timing and technology in the agricultural world. I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. News flash! I eat, therefore it does have to do with me. (And that means it has to do with you, too!)

A career in agriculture? Yes!

Like I said, it’s a BIG job. People need to eat.

Students learned how the parts counter and warehouse is managed and operated. If you’d rather work indoors with parts, rather than out in the field, you can do that!

Producers rely on a variety of equipment to grow and harvest their crops. If you love meeting new people, and possess a persuasive personality, you might be good at selling farm equipment. Students attending the Career Day learned all about pricing, as well as the innovative features of different machines. They even practiced negotiating a deal.

Want to incorporate helping people and remote technology? Tracking systems allow technicians to monitor equipment productivity from anywhere in the province. Why does this matter? Because technicians can warn producers of engine problems like overheating and other malfunctions before they happen.

For more information, Visit South Country Equipment 

 

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Camping in Winter!?

Yes. You CAN camp in winter. In fact, it’s really fun! For one thing, you don’t have to worry about your food spoiling. :P

Want to know the 5 essentials for a successful winter camp?

Check out my video:

 

 

 

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Regina’s Irish side

What do these Irish folks have to say about living in Regina? Watch and Find out for yourself! Also: A great place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? You’ll see..

 

 

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Paddock Wood’s Brewmaster LOVES Saskatchewan

Meet Stephen Cavan: Owner of Saskatchewan’s First Microwbrewery. Surprisingly, he is NOT from Saskatchewan, NOT SURPRISINGLY, he never plans on moving away.  

 

 

 

 

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Saskatchewan’s World-Class Craft Brewery

My job keeps getting better and better. The other day I spent the afternoon tasting beer. That’s right. Beer. We’re not talking regular beer either, we’re talking flavourful, one-of-a-kind, craft beer. Grown here, brewed here, served here. Let me tell you about how I found myself cozied up by the fire enjoying a pint of Saskatchewan’s finest brews. In fact, why don’t you grab a cold one yourself and read on…

Paddock Wood Beer

Saskatchewan’s first microbrewery hit the scene in 2003. Eleven years earlier, in 1992, university professor Stephen Cavan moved to Saskatoon from Ontario with his wife, Kathy. Stephen immediately liked Saskatchewan, but he was shocked to learn that his new province was not home to a single microbrewery. “Craft brewery was really taking off in Ontario and I really liked that kind of beer, but it wasn’t available. So I thought, well, I’ll make it.”

Brewmaster of Paddock Wood Brewery

Brewmaster of Paddock Wood Brewery

What started out as a hobby soon grew into a thriving business and some of Saskatchewan’s most-loved beer. Within a few years’ time, Stephen became the president and brewmaster of Paddock Wood Brewing Company.

Paddock Wood's Bottling Machine

Paddock Wood’s Bottling Machine

Located in Sutherland, Saskatoon, Paddock Wood Brewing Company brews between 25,000 and 30,000 litres of beer every month. That number has grown substantially since 2007, when they were brewing that amount in an entire year. Brewing a batch can take anywhere from one week to one month, depending on whether Stephen is brewing an ale or a lager. Paddock Wood beer is now sold at more than 36 restaurants around Saskatchewan. You can also find bottled Paddock Wood at every SLGA-licensed liquor store in the province. Outside of Saskatchewan, Paddock Wood is sold in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

Bottled beer ready to be shipped out

Bottled beer ready to be shipped out

By far the best place to taste a sample of Paddock Wood’s latest brews is at their very own pub, The Woods Alehouse in Saskatoon. With 16 taps featuring Paddock Wood’s latest creations, seasonal specials and proven favourites, you are bound to find one that you love.

The Woods Ale House on 2nd Ave, Saskatoon

The Woods Ale House on 2nd Ave, Saskatoon

You might come for the beer, but you’ll want to stay for the atmosphere; I know I did! When I visited The Woods alone, I enjoyed cozying up by the fire. Another time I came with a large group of friends and we sat at a big table that had room for all of us. With entertainment like trivia night every other Wednesday, open mic and a shelf of board games that are free to play, there is always something going on!

Taps at The Woods Ale House

Taps at The Woods Ale House

Paddock Wood’s most popular beer is the 606 pale ale. Like many ales, it has a fruity, sweet taste, but you could drink a whole pint and not be able to put your finger on exactly which fruit it tastes like. I’m not a seasoned beer drinker, but I could definitely taste something fruity, and I liked it! Interestingly enough, it is the yeast that brings out the fruity flavours. The 606 pale ale is not actually made with any fruits!

Stephen giving me a crash course in beer tasting.

Stephen giving me a crash course in beer tasting.

Another noteworthy brew is the Czech Mate Pilsner. This lager was named one of the top five beers in Canada by The Globe and Mail’s Nicholas Pashley. In his book Cheers! An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada, Pashley called Czech Mate one of the only authentic pilsners made in Canada.  True pilsners should have a prominent hoppy taste. I am no expert, but I could certainly taste the hoppy, almost grassy flavour. Using a combination of reverse-osmosis water, hops straight from the Czech Republic and European malt, Stephen has made a top-notch beer.

Paddock Wood Beer

With the exception of Czech Mate, all of Paddock Wood’s beer is made with a base-malt grown in Saskatchewan. In 2012, Saskatchewan grew nearly 1 million hectares of barley and made $254 million in exports. In that same year, Saskatchewan accounted for 52 per cent of all of Canada’s barley exports.

Stephen Cavan, President and Brewmaster of Paddock Wood Brewery

Stephen Cavan, President and Brewmaster of Paddock Wood Brewery

Saskatchewan’s beer scene is growing! There are now five running microbreweries in Saskatchewan. Supporting microbreweries like Paddock Wood is good for your community. If you haven’t yet, get out and try some of your local brews and see what Saskatchewan has to offer!

 

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Saskatoon Proves Great Fit for Celebrity Chef’s First Restaurant

Ayden's Kitchen and Bar

Ayden’s Kitchen and Bar right before the doors opened on a busy Wednesday night

Ayden’s Kitchen and Bar. If you live in Saskatoon, you’ve probably heard of it. I know I had. If you haven’t, think: flavourful, locally-sourced, quality food in a classy, laid-back atmosphere. Yummmmm.

They officially opened their doors in November. Celebrity chef Dale McKay, who won Top Chef Canada in 2011 and studied for more than six years under Chef Gordon Ramsay, chose his hometown of Saskatoon as the location for his first restaurant because of his positive experiences growing up in the community and the unprecedented growth Saskatchewan is experiencing.

Chef Dale McKay

Chef Dale McKay in action behind the counter

When McKay first pitched the idea to his soon-to-be general manager, Christopher Cho, the Vancouverite had his doubts.

“I was a bit skeptical at first” Cho said. McKay and Cho flew from big-city Vancouver to Saskatoon to do some market research in November 2012. Despite the bitter cold, Cho said the trip convinced him that Saskatoon would be a great location for McKay’s first restaurant. “We went to different pubs, restaurants, lounges and it opened up my eyes in terms of what we (could) offer to the city.”

Christopher Cho, General Manager and Mixologist

Christopher Cho, General Manager and Mixologist

McKay felt strongly about what Saskatoon had in store. “With the city and the province growing so much, it’s kind of in a boom right now.” McKay noticed that Saskatoon has lots of new businesses popping up. “It just seemed like the right idea to come back… and be in a city where people are appreciative and excited about new things.”

Ayden's Kitchen and Bar

The colourful charcuterie platter served at Ayden’s Kitchen and Bar

I couldn’t agree with McKay more, and the evidence is there; Saskatoon residents are flocking to the fresh, new restaurant. Ayden’s Kitchen has been open for four months and hasn’t slowed down for a second. Even though it’s post-Christmas season, the restaurant continues to serve more than 140 people every night. McKay notices regular customers who return three or four times a week.

“We have people who are coming in all the time, and that’s usually a good sign,” he said.

Ayden's Kitchen and Bar

Ayden’s Kitchen sees growth in business on the corporate side as well. Companies are choosing to hold their events, such as Christmas parties and staff dinners, at Ayden’s Kitchen. These events have allowed the restaurant’s business to grow faster than it likely would if they were located in a bigger city with more competition.

The secluded upstairs can be reserved for larger parties

The secluded upstairs can be reserved for larger parties

McKay says lifestyle also played a big role in his decision to move to Saskatoon. Even though he has lived all over the world, McKay hasn’t forgotten his roots. He says he felt at ease whenever he returned to Saskatoon, even just to visit. Because of McKay’s own positive childhood in Saskatoon, he wanted to share that experience with his 11-year-old son.

I can relate. I lived in Abbotsford, BC for a couple of years. While the warm weather was nice, of course, I really missed the community atmosphere of Saskatoon. I can see why McKay wants the same for his son.

McKay says he is incredibly happy with his decision. He has settled in and plans to stay. He even hopes to open more restaurants in the future.

Ayden's Kitchen and Bar

Southern Fried Chicken has been a popular menu item.

McKay also noted the different feel that Saskatoon has compared to when he lived here as a teen. Not only has the city grown, “It’s a lot less of a boys’ club, it’s a lot… younger and cooler.”

I like the sounds of that!

Cho and McKay were right: Ayden’s Kitchen has much to offer Saskatoon, and the relationship is mutual. Through Ayden’s Kitchen’s success, Saskatoon has proven that it is a city ready for new ideas and new growth.

For more information on Ayden’s Kitchen and Bar, visit their website at http://www.aydenkitchenandbar.com/

Chef Dale McKay working with his team behind the open-concept counter at Ayden's Kitchen and Bar

Chef Dale McKay working with his team behind the open-concept counter at Ayden’s Kitchen and Bar

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Ice Fishing with the Pros!

Winters in Saskatchewan can be long. But there is an activity that melts away winter months: Ice Fishing!

Saskatchewanderer and the Matity brothers fishing in Echo Lake

Saskatchewanderer and the Matity brothers fishing in Echo Lake

I met with fishing experts, Jason and Jeff Matity on a cold day in February  Despite the windchill of -35 degrees celsius, I learned a thing or two about fishing and had a great time with these guys in the process. Their passion for fishing is contagious! Check your their website at  Matitysgetfishing.com

 

 

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Dog Sledding

I had the opportunity to visit Sundogs Sled Excursions last week. What a blast! Those dogs can really run!

 

 

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Fantastic Jobs in Tourism

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If you are looking for a fantastic job that allows you to be outside, meet new people and gives you day-to-day variety, look no further than the tourism industry! There were more than 57,000 tourism-related jobs in the province in August 2012—about 11 per cent of Saskatchewan’s current working population. Jobs in this field can vary from leading large groups on multi-day whitewater canoe voyages in northern Saskatchewan to manning a hot-air balloon floating hundreds of feet above downtown Regina. Sound like fun? That’s tourism for you!

I caught up with Bradley Muir from Sundogs Sled Excursions to hitch a ride on one of his sleds, and to find out what it means to own and operate a tourism business in northern Saskatchewan. Bradley started with his first dog, Crocket, a very handsome Alaskan husky, doing skijoring for fun. (Skijoring is when a person on skis is pulled by dogs). Slowly, he began adding more and more dogs and learning what he could from professional mushers. Sundogs Sled Excursions began in 1997, but business really began to take off roughly five years later.

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This winter has been his busiest season yet. With three working guides on the go, and a fourth to call in when there are large groups, there is no slowing down. In addition to the guides, there are also two dog handlers who care for the dogs throughout the day, in addition to many other duties that help keep the business running smoothly—for example, keeping the trails groomed and clear of fallen trees.

Andrea Nelson, a new dog handler to Sundogs Sled Excursions, came to the business from Clearwater Canoeing Outfitters in Meadow Lake Provincial Park. Andrea met Bradley through a marketing cooperative between Clearwater Canoeing Outfitters and Sundogs Sled Excursions and saw a great opportunity to spend the winter in Saskatchewan’s northern forest.

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“Brad is known as a really great (nature) interpreter, and he runs a really sustainable organization here… I had heard really great things about the company and about Brad as an owner/operator…so I wanted to learn from him.”

Andrea has been enjoying working at Sundogs for the past few months. When asked what her favourite aspects of the job are, she mentioned the ability to be outside every day, and the chance to ignite a passion for the outdoors in other people. Not to mention, hanging out with 35 happy, healthy Alaskan Huskies!

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After 17 years of owning and operating Sundogs, Bradley still maintains a high level of enthusiasm for his job. Although there are many aspects that he loves, Bradley names the day-to-day variety that the dogs bring as being one of his top three favourites. He also loves being in a natural environment every day and seeing the joy on peoples’ faces when they see the dogs.

Let’s be honest, Saskatchewan has some of the best jobs ever – including mine!

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