My name is Verna Mitura. I am the President of Mitura
Economic Research Incorporated and the company has been in
existence for a little over a year.
I formed the company in October of 1996 and the primary role
of the company is to do economic research, whether it be market
research or policy research for business or governments, nationally
My major background is economics. The role I have had (over
the years), in terms of working with others, has been to develop
policies or develop markets that are to the benefit of others.
I came from a farm originally, so I [also] have farm background.
I took a degree in Agriculture and then started working for
an agricultural company here in Saskatchewan. It was very focused
on farm families and the economic wellbeing of Saskatchewan
As I started out on my own a year ago, a part of me still
wants to go back and work with farm families and try to improve
their economic wellbeing through some of the work that I might
do in research in the future. So it has been a progression
in my career and I mainly focused on agriculture.
[Hours of Work:]
I try to keep regular hours. It is easy not to do when you
are private and when you do not really report to anyone else.
But ever since I started this I have tried to keep an 8:30
am to 5:00 pm day, like anyone else. That is (kind of) why
I went into an office environment.
[Typical Work Day:]
I have activities that go on through two Boards that I am
involved with. Different things happen in a day to keep you
going. I would probably spend about half of my time in the
office and half out. It is hard. It just varies because it
depends on the meetings that are being held outside, because
it is critical to meet with potential clients outside.
I have been trying in the past year to develop a broad base
of connections so that when one project ends maybe there is
someone out there that is looking for a project to be started.
So trying to balance the projects and your time is a real factor.
While I am here I am probably writing proposals; or once they
are approved, trying to do the research. That is the stage
I am at now, beginning to do the research on a project that
has been approved. And that is going to mean setting up numerous
meetings, travel plans and research through the library Internet.
[Teamwork Skills & Positive Attitude:]
Because I am a very small organization I have to do a lot
of my work with and through other people. [You need to be able
to work as a team.] You may team up with other consultants
to work on a project. This could be one way where you have
to become a component of a team. That very much is what is
in my future. Or if you are working to do research with a group
of people where it is their attitudes or information you require;
again, you are working very much through others to get the
information you require. So teamwork is ultimately a major
Every day the positive attitude is critical. When you get
up in the morning as a small entrepreneur, there is really
no one out there to tell you what you are going to do from
day to day. And I guess it is like a double-edged sword. It
is really good if you are totally motivated. You have to stay
motivated day in and day out.
Keep a positive attitude towards what your future can become
from a small company. If you do not have that, then as a small
entrepreneur you might need to go back into another type of
work force because you do not have the stability of income
and you do not have someone setting your daily agenda for you.
Some people need that and other people thrive from not having
[Skills & Abilities:]
The ability to adapt to change for agriculture now, is, and
always has been very important for that industry. And it has
been an industry if you look back a hundred years when the
industry started with horses and ploughs (which was within
this century). It is quite amazing where that whole industry
has gone. So it has been one that has changed dramatically
in a hundred years.
I would not say it has changed like computer technology changes
(where it changes almost weekly and monthly), but agriculture
has had new technology driven onto them. They have had to adapt
to new types of crops and livestock and chemicals. It is a
constantly changing environment for agriculture as well.
You have to be able to convince others of ideas you may have.
And that in itself is a very critical role that you play because
you are having to convince others (at times) that there is
a project out there that is crying to be done and that someone
else should pay for it. That is a challenge of a lifetime when
you are trying to do that. And convincing someone of your idea
takes time and a lot of resources and a lot of energy because
you may have to try time and time again.
[Education & Training:]
Well basically, the education to be an Agrologist is your
University degree and that is your first step into professional
Agrology. Then to work in the profession of Agriculture within
Saskatchewan you are bound by regulation of the province. So
you have to actually be a member of the Saskatchewan Institute
of Agrologists and a basic degree in Agriculture is required
Then, the Institution requires you to continue your education
and inform them of what education you advanced in over the
course of a year. So you might take management training, [or]
you might take things on arbitration. It could be varied depending
on your interests, but the Institute does like to see its Agrologists
continue their education.
The attributes a person would need within the profession of
Agriculture (if you are talking that particular) is a good
ability to communicate. I think it is important in what I do.
You have to have an understanding of the basics of the industry.
There are many people actually entering the College of Agriculture
that do not come from a farm background because the number
of occupations within Agriculture is so wide now that people
might be going into food science, or soil science, or crop
science. And really, not having a farm background would not
make much of a difference.
[Most Challenging Aspects:]
The most challenging [aspect] will be the financial side,
trying to justify the existence of the company and not wavering
into another type of job. And the financial will be the component
of that, whether you can sustain your business and that is
true for anyone.
[Most Satisfying Aspects:]
Satisfaction is being able to take on projects that I likely
could never have done in another corporate environment. So
by going out on my own I can pursue some of those international
opportunities that I do not think I could have achieved within
a government position or within a corporation.
[Advice For Someone Entering This Field Of Work:]
It is a very good career and it (Agriculture) will always
be a career for anyone because you do not have to necessarily
have a farm background. You can go into the college and do
very well. Everyone in this world still needs to be fed and
there is a rapidly growing population in this world that needs
to be fed. And the challenges of having enough food will continue
to be there for years to come.