Being the leading lady in your own life takes a lot of gumption, which livestock veterinarian, Dr. Gabrielle Young, is no short of. As the only female among 15 men within her field, Young is an expert at commanding respect with grace and femininity. With the help of her Nutramix team, Young, is able to educate small farmers on the various ways to improve the health and longevity of their animals.
“It’s never intimidating, I am part of the team. I don’t know if it’s that I am a rough chick,” laughed Young, who grew up in a male household which laid the foundation of her strong and easy going personality. “My father and mother never said, ‘because you are a girl you can’t do this’, so we did everything,” she explained.
“I always knew I wanted to go into agriculture,” said Young, who found joy in the outdoors of Trinidad and Tobago in her youth. Her love for animals and farming, led to an investment in veterinary science, which paved the way for her journey to Jamaica. While being in Jamaica, Young decided to use her knowledge and skills to improve the livelihood of farmers across the island through Nutramix. This decision was made over 15 years ago and she is grateful for the extended family she has gained from being apart of the company.
“It’s like a family and that is one of the reasons why I’ve stayed here for so long. I really don’t see myself working anywhere else, because Nutramix is like my other family,” said Young.
Young believes the Caribbean is capable of being 100% self sufficient when it comes to food.
“Caribbean nations can produce enough food to sustain themselves and not be dependent on other countries. We need to educate farmers and get more young people involved in agriculture,” she said.
As a mother and an active livestock veterinarian, her days are long but fulfilling. A typical day for her involves waking up at 5 a.m. to get her sons ready for school. This is followed by going to work, which can be anywhere on the island. “The team travels the whole length and breadth of Jamaica. It can be either visiting a farm or doing a workshop. We do at least one workshop a week,” she said. Young then ends the day by going home to help with homework and spending quality time with her family.
Young would love to see more persons coming into the field of livestock veterinary sciences. She admits that the most challenging element associated with being the livestock support manager is the lack of qualified manpower needed to get the job done. “We would like more vets to enter the profession thinking that they can make a living from livestock. We need to use our technical knowledge and really try to help Jamaica to put a dent in the food deficit,” said Young.
“Agriculture needs to be sexy again. This will attract more young people into coming into the industry,” said Young.