This is My Story – Lydia Parker, Field Product Specialist
June 20, 2018
As a young girl at home on her Ontario family farm, Lydia Parker never pictured a life working in tech. The product of six generations of farmers, Lydia knew she was destined to work in farming in some capacity. Determined to find her path, she set off to the University of Guelph to study agriculture. There, she met now-husband Adam, himself a seventh-generation farmer.
It seemed like a natural fit to focus on the farm. “I think my Dad thought I would come home after school,” muses Lydia. Instead, the confident young woman was drawn to a position where her performance background could shine.
“One of the things that made me decide to apply for my role at Climate was that it involved a lot of public speaking,” Lydia says about her role. “Growing up, I was a dancer, so I was always on stage and always in front of people.”
The position would end up putting her on a much bigger stage than she anticipated. As the voice behind many of Climate’s FieldView™ platform training videos, and in her capacity training dealers and growers, Lydia’s brand of clear product knowledge training and catchy terminology has made her something of a fixture within the company.
“In one video, I’m explaining a feature and the way I explain it is to draw a little ‘lasso’ around a field region,” she recalls, “A little while later I overheard a dealer use the term ‘lasso’ to help a customer understand the feature. It’s pretty cool to hear your terminology make its way into people’s vocabulary.”
Most remarkable to her, though, is finding herself in a training position at Climate as someone who never considered herself very high-tech.
“I got my first laptop and flip phone in college. Tech just isn’t very big in my family,” she explains. “When I first started looking into FieldView™, something that struck me was how easy it was to use. I thought, ‘hey, my Dad could use this’, and that was really cool.”
It also has advantages.
“When I talk to growers, I’m probably just as tech-savvy as they are. It feels good to be able to level with them and show them this genuinely easy-to-use tool.”
Farm by farm, adoption of Climate’s FieldView platform has grown quickly across Canada over the past year. The success of the platform has been a shared effort throughout the company, but Lydia’s role has really brought something special to the table. Being tasked with educating farmers on a totally new platform is no small challenge, but that effort has paid dividends.
“Getting to know FieldView, I thought it was really exciting that agriculture was going that way and there was a company making it easy for growers,” Lydia says. “It’s been rewarding to help farmers help themselves with this platform.”
By Lydia’s account, that ‘help’ will come in more and more handy as the public conversation around agriculture places more and more pressure on farmers.
“We’re seeing a lot more of a crackdown on disclosure; the urban population is starting to demand more transparency around the production of food,” she elaborates. “I think it is going to become more important going forward for farmers to be able to offer that level of information.”
It’s already coming in handy for farmers who participate in market development trials.
“One grower, a beta tester, was using a product that under-performed last year,” she recalls. “When the company asked for context to see what could have gone wrong, he was able to provide more information about the situations that impacted the products performance than the company could have expected.”
Best of all, it’s great to be a part of something so exciting for the farming community.
“I just love to hear farmers talk about how the platform has helped them,” Lydia says. “Sometimes you see farmers talking on Twitter and sharing their field imagery, excited about something they could see in the platform that they would never have seen driving by. That’s the best.”
At the rate that things have been changing, Lydia expects many more moments like that to come.
“In just a year, things have changed so quickly with the new features we’ve released. It’s really cool to be part of a company that empowers growers and involves them in the conversation.”