Local Farmer Named In Top 50
Charlotte Wasylik. Photos submitted
Canadian Western Agribition and Farm Credit Canada joined together last fall to search for the Top 50 most influential leaders in Canadian agriculture from coast to coast. The campaign included five categories which were: Mentors, Upstarts, Innovators, Deal Makers and Designated Hitters.
Local farmer Charlotte Wasylik was nominated for the Upstarts category by three of her very good friends whom she worked with on many agricultural events during her time at Northlands in Edmonton. Agribition defines the Upstarts as “the bold brash and daring future leaders of agriculture.” “It is for early adopters and those who are trying something completely new. Young people who aren’t afraid to buck tradition, find their voice and go for the moon in Canadian ag.”
“I had no idea my friends had nominated me until I received a call from Agribition in January telling me I was one of the nominees. It was so kind of them and they kept the secret very well - they are such incredible women and I’m so grateful to still have the chance to work with them on special agricultural events.” said Wasylik.
The winners of each category were announced on Canada’s Ag Day on February 23 and Wasylik was named as one of the Top 50 most influential people in the Upstarts category.
Wasylik’s farming career began as a little girl as she grew up on her family’s farm, Chatsworth Farm north of Vermilion. Chatsworth Farm is a second generation mixed farm which was started by her parents Rick and Johanna Wasylik.
“I have been involved almost since birth,” explained Wasylik. She went on to explain that her passion for the agriculture industry developed at an early age and grew throughout many years in the Vermilion 4-H Beef Club and being active on the farm.
“In 4-H, I was a provincial ambassador and finalist for the Premier’s Award and tried to attend as many camps and events as possible, including Selections in Olds, where I became friends with Jess Verstappen, another finalist in the Upstarts category. And I worked at the local ag society for five summers as an agricultural events coordinator,” said Wasylik.
Wasylik attended NAIT in Edmonton where she completed the Event Management, Visual Design, and Digital Publishing programs. While at NAIT and afterwards she worked at Northlands on Farmfair International with local livestock producers and international cattle buyers.
She currently works at Vermilion Credit Union as their marketing coordinator while farming after work and on weekends, looking after farm-gate sales, events, and social media. “That includes chores as well,” stated Wasylik.
When the pandemic began in March of 2020 Wasylik started hosting virtual farm tours to help brighten the days for her family and friends who found themselves at home. Her virtual tour audience grew across the world.
”I was giving a virtual tour twice a week for the first bit and really focusing on the newborn calves, and then continued to host less frequent tours through the summer as people were able to get out more but I still did tours showing all the different aspects of our farm throughout the summer,” she explained.
In late spring and summer of 2020 Wasylik began receiving requests from groups for personal tours and she said that they have been steady throughout 2020 and so far in 2021. She is also hosting a “life on the farm” series for a local homeschooling group.
“It’s been so wonderful to see how excited everyone is about agriculture no matter their age, and I’m truly amazed to know that people in Nigeria, Scotland, Georgia, Ontario, and California have ‘visited’ our farm,” Wasylik commented.
She also mentioned that one big change for the farm was participating for the first time in Alberta Open Farm Days in 2020 and will be hosting the event again in 2021. They will also be offering a calf tour as part of their new agritourism program, ‘Chatsworth Farm through the Seasons.’
“Later this month, visitors will tour the overall farm, focusing primarily on the calves and calving barn. Our first seasonal tour was a harvest tour last September and we’re planning upcoming tours in May for lambing and June at one of our summer pastures. Our in-person tours help give people a connection to the food they eat and understand the unique blend of private family life and work life,” explained Wasylik.
All events are COVID safe and are open to all, but space is limited to 10 visitors. Anyone interested can visit their website www.chatsworthfarm.ca to book as part of the subscription visit, to learn more about personal tours, or find out about upcoming virtual tours.
As for being named in the Top 50 in Agriculture Wasylik said, “There is no industry quite like ours and I’m so glad for the opportunity to work in a field I love, and I’m honoured to be a part of their Top 50 in Agriculture. Thank you so very much and congratulations to all the other finalists.”