International Women’s Day – Shelly Juurlink

Women have played a critical role in Agriculture for thousands of years ever-increasing in numbers. From the dawn of the agrarian era to maintaining the farms during times of war, women have been in the fields ensuring there is food for the tables of humanity. 

Shelly feels very fortunate to have spent a life-time in this industry. She was born and raised on a small dairy farm in rural Nova Scotia.  Her understanding of agriculture was strengthened during her studies at the (then) Nova Scotia Agriculture College in the late 90’s early 2000’s. It was there Shelly learned of sustainability, animal welfare, food security and climate change. During her graduate research, she explored how changes in feeding management affected greenhouse gas emissions from dairy systems. She continued to build on this foundation in every agricultural role she has ever had.  

Over the last 20 years, Shelly’s career in agriculture has provided her with the opportunity to work in various places, sectors and positions. She has milked cows and hauled hay; held positions of director and manager; sat at tables with ministers and held community meetings.  And has loved it all. 

These days, Shelly works with Milk Moovement, an Ag Tech company that connects the dairy supply chain from farm to processor.  They currently serve more than 2000 farms in Canada, US and Austrailia during a time when supply chains around the world are compromised. Shelly lives in Fall River with her husband, two children and 3 cats on an acre of land with their gardens and chickens.

It is not lost on Shelly that it is a privilege to have had the opportunities in this industry that were before her. It was not always this way for women. Along the way, she has met some of the most amazing and passionate women who have blazed a trail for themselves and those that will come after them.

Perhaps some of the most inspiring women she has ever met were those in West Africa, where food security is fragile and women define “hard work and resilience”.  From them Shelly learned what we, as women, are capable of.  The importance of keeping the land and nurturing life, of all forms.  She continues to see these traits in the women she meet in this industry every day.

“You all make me so proud to walk beside you in this path where every day is International Women’s Day! Here’s to Strong Women:  May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them.”