Returning to our roots: How professionals are finding meaningful careers in rural Saskatchewan
Finding a meaningful career in a rural setting
“It feels like I’m coming back home,” says electrical engineer Karl Messinbird, reflecting on his relocation to Rocanville from Winnipeg.
It was only a few months ago that Messinbird started his role at Nutrien’s Rocanville mine. Farming has been in his family for four generations, and he is now using his engineering background to contribute to the farm in a less conventional way.
“Being able to contribute to the agricultural world feels like I am giving back, even if I am not on the family farm,” says Messinbird. “It has to do with contributing to the future of agriculture and feeding the future.”
Many local professionals like Messinbird grow their careers in large cities after graduating from university, but are drawn back to working and living in a rural setting or small town with fewer people, less traffic lights, and a greater sense of community. Growing up just over the border in a small town in Manitoba, it felt like a natural fit for him to apply for a job at Nutrien.
“I am excited about my opportunity at Nutrien to find a job that blends my passion for engineering with agriculture while getting back to my roots in a rural area,” he says. “This is a great place for professionals to grow their careers.”
It feels like a community
Returning to a small town was an easy transition for Messinbird.
“People are relatable, friendly and you feel that instant connection, not just at Nutrien, but in the community,” he says. “It feels like I have been a part of the Nutrien community for a long time.”
Many of the employees working at Nutrien’s network of potash mines in Saskatchewan grew up in and around the area. Others were attracted to working for a global company with strong roots in the community. Instantly, employees have some sort of connection with their co-workers, whether it is a direct relation to them or that you know someone they know.
“There are people at the site that I have never met before, but I still have some sort of connection with them,” he says. “I know someone that they know, or I know of the small town where they are from because I’ve played hockey or sports growing up on both sides of the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border.”
During one of Messinbird’s tours underground, he was stopped multiple times by people that recognized him.
“One of the guys touring me around said he has been at the mine for over 15 years. He was like, ‘Geez, you know more people than I do!’”
The warm and welcoming connections forged through these interactions serve as the cornerstone of a close-knit community within the towns and mines of Saskatchewan. These exchanges not only build camaraderie among all levels of staff and management at Nutrien, but also reinforce our commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace.