Dr. Matejka taking some time to get some work done on the family farm south of Ponoka. Photo submitted

Ponoka vet to have a voice on a national stage

Dr. Carling Matejka one of 25 members of federal agricultural advisory council

One local veterinarian has been selected to participate in a national advisory panel on agriculture.

Dr. Carling Matejka will be among the 25 members of the Canadian Agricultural Youth Council (CAYC), which was officially announced by the federal minister of agriculture and agri-food Marie-Claude Bibeau on July 24.

The CAYC was created earlier this year with more than 800 eligible Canadians applying. The process included applicants providing their background in agriculture or agri-food along with a short essay on a significant issue facing youth in the sector and how they proposed to address it.

Those selected represent a diverse mix of sectors across the agriculture and agri-food industry.

Dr. Matejka is pleased to have been selected and given the chance to be a voice not only for young people, but on issues that affect rural farm life as well as the agricultural sector as a whole.

“I am passionate about agriculture and with also being a vet, I felt I would be able to speak out loud about various issues as I see things from a farming perspective as well,” said Matejka, who works at Ponoka’s Central Veterinary Clinic and still works on the family’s purebred Angus farm.

“I can speak to the rules and regulation side of things, but I can also see the farm side and the city side of things.”

Matejka was raised in and around Ponoka with her parents instilling that being a part of the greater community is an asset, something she admits is part of why she became a vet and why she felt the need to be on this advisory council.

“My parents were always involved in the community and I wanted to help make an impact as well,” she said.

“They were committed to nature and really preached to us about sustainable agriculture. Having gone away to school and lived in big cities for seven years, I heard many things from people about farms.

“There were so many that misinterpreted what farmers do and what agriculture does and provides to us. I soon realized how to talk to them about it in a non-judgmental way to help people change how they think and truly let them know where their food comes from.”

Matejka was also involved with 4H growing up, which helped educate her further on other aspects of agriculture, and led her to earning both a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine — both with majors in food animals.

“Being on this council is different, as I get to interact with people and policy makers on a national level, bringing forward issues along with brainstorming and troubleshooting problems as well as presenting solutions,” she said, hoping the team can collectively make a large impact on some pressing issues.

“For me, I think I bring a unique perspective as a fourth-generation farmer raised on a small family farm who got her hands dirty and knowing how hard it is to operate a farm these days.

“As a vet — I think I’m the only one on the council — I have the ability to really talk about how business operations and the industry think on issues such as antibiotic resistance and how that relates back to farm and animal health. I can also speak how changes and new regulations will affect or benefit the industry and provide opinions on other issues that would be valuable to everyone.”

The first meeting of the CAYC is slated to be conducted online sometime this month and Matejka has a couple of priorities she would like to bring to the table.

“My first priority is to focus on contributing to the creation of sustainable agriculture and encouraging the involvement of more youth in the industry,” she said.

“Secondly, I want to assist in educating the population and removing the misconceptions about agriculture, so society can gain a better understanding about the industry.

The federal government created the CAYC, which will provide consultation to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, earlier this year to help identify problems and propose solutions on matters that affect agriculture and other topics such as business risk management, market diversification, mental health challenges in the industry and how this pandemic is altering agriculture.

“I’m looking forward to virtually meeting the members of the first-ever Canadian Agricultural Youth Council,” said federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, in a release.

“Each of these young leaders will bring a unique experience and perspective to the table. Together, the members will help shape the future of Canada’s sustainable agricultural industry.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Being a vet isn’t always glamour and glory, but gory and nasty as Carling shows in this look behind the scenes at Central Vet. Photo submitted

One of the nice things about being a vet for Carling is touching base with some cute clients sometimes as seen here during a check up at the clinic. Photo submitted

Just Posted

International Day of Older Persons celebrations planned on Oct. 1

The Town of Ponoka and the Ponoka branch of the Royal Canadian… Continue reading

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Ermineskin Kindergarten has a confirmed case of COVID-19

The school has shut down and Cohort 2 is in self-isolation

Ponoka County discusses Poulsen’s Pasture

Policing costs, Bobtail Road bridge replacement and other Ponoka County council briefs

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Best of Ponoka Readers’ Choice Awards 2020

Here is your chance to show your support for the outstanding services… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

Jackpot for the next draw will grow to approximately $55 million

Wilkinson aims to be B.C. premier after cabinet role, working as doctor and lawyer

The B.C. election is Wilkinson’s first as the Liberal party leader

First Nations police services look to throne speech pledge for higher, stable funding

‘I won’t be happy until I hear two words: royal assent’

8 charged, $260K in drugs and cash seized in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Millet Agriplex to become a hub for indoor soccer

Wetaskiwin Soccer Club will be operating out of the Millet Agriplex this season.

Most Read