Meet the team: Dr. Natasha Kutryk
Meet the TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods team members who are empowering and connecting our customers, from producers to consumers, for a more sustainable future.
Dr. Natasha Kutryk and her husband live in Northeastern Alberta where they run a cattle herd alongside horses, cats, a dog and honey bees. Besides agriculture, their greatest passion is travel, to which they devote as much time as possible. Natasha joined TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods through the Feedlot Health team in 2019 where she works as a Professional Services Veterinarian.
What is your role at TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods?
As a veterinarian, I work with a multidisciplinary team to assist our clients in making profitable data-based decisions. To do so, I use our individual animal data collection software and database to monitor health parameters and provide appropriate oversight and consultation. Part of this includes performing individual animal and pen examinations, disease diagnosis and bovine surgeries. I’m also responsible for communicating protocols, research data and technical information to our clients, while training feedlot crew members. I also perform regulatory procedures associated with cattle import, export and certification.
What is a typical work day like for you?
Referencing the unpredictability of my schedule and how much I travel, a colleague recently began calling me ‘Carmen,’ as in “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” I relish the diversity of my work days that involve visiting clients across Western Canada and the United States. When I am not visiting clients, I split my time working remotely from home and our main office in Okotoks, Alberta.
What was your path to working in agriculture?
I’ve had an admiration for agriculture longer than I can remember. It likely came from my father, while growing up on our family’s fourth generation cattle farm. I specifically became excited about feedlot medicine during a student summer job spent pen-riding (detecting and treating illness in cattle by horseback) at a feedlot that used Feedlot Health’s services. I recall being impressed by the amount of data collected on each animal and the expertise of the Feedlot Health team. Eight years later, I fulfilled my goal and secured a job on the team!
What training and experiences prepared you for your role?
I obtained my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan after studying Agriculture at the University of Alberta. Equally important knowledge and skills were learned from colleagues and clients while practicing veterinary medicine in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Canadian Prairies. Also, being a member of Toastmasters International has taught me invaluable communication skills that I use daily.
What philosophy has guided your career?
The colloquialism “curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” has always resonated with me. I believe that I can (or rather should) learn something from everyone and every situation by being curious. To do so, I simply must show up.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about agriculture?
When visiting with students, I often hear a concern that not growing up in agriculture is a detriment. I disagree. To take proper advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture industry we need diverse individuals with different backgrounds. I sometimes worry that being raised in agriculture may inhibit me from thinking creatively outside the box.
What’s your favourite food or recipe?
As I enjoy exploring and trying new dishes, I’m continuously searching for a new favourite and struggle to pick only one. But if I had to, I would pick a family potluck where my relatives bring traditional Ukrainian dishes to enjoy together.