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From Acting to Agriculture
By Cheyenne MacDonald
From Performance Art to agriculture? That may seem like a stretch to some, but for Clara Bullock it finally feels like she is growing roots in a field she is passionate about.
Clara recently completed her first year of the International Food Business degree program on the Agricultural Campus. Clara will earn a dual degree: one in Agriculture from Dalhousie University and one in Business Administration from Aeres University in the Netherlands.
“I love being on this campus and I especially enjoy the small student populous,” said Clara. “It makes the school feel more like a community. Because of the small class sizes my teachers are able to be so supportive, which has allowed me to excel in my program. I see this as a huge advantage.”
A native of Ontario, Clara previously attended Ryerson University to study Performance Acting.
“For as long as I can remember I had always wanted to act and sing,” said Clara. And perform she did. Clara travelled to Berlin to perform, attended a musical theatre-training program with Neptune Theatre, as well as had a leading role in musical theatre. She also had a passion for teaching and taught music and acting to children ages 7-16 years old.
However, five-years later Clara’s acting career became sidelined due to illness.
“I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate my goals. I always felt like I had something more to offer and had not found where I fit. I wanted to use my unique training in performance and apply it to a different craft.”
Clara’s passion for food became her medicine. She began blogging about eating a healthy, balanced diet to take charge of her own health. This interest blossomed into something far more than she had expected.
“I started asking questions about where my food was coming from. From there, the questioning never stopped and I needed to find a way to learn more!”
It took two-years but Clara got her health back to where she was comfortable enough to go back to school. Clara felt she was ready for a new challenge and wanted to use her energy and dedication to make an impact in the food industry.
“I hope to one-day work in policy and food security. Access to healthy, wholesome food has changed my life and I want others to have the privilege I have.”
Clara is particularly interested in fair trade where she believes there are many opportunities. She hopes to see herself lobbying for fair trade organizations. “There are so many opportunities in agriculture, not just on the farm but also in other aspects.”
Clara is currently spending her summer in Ethiopia as a communications interns as part of the Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE) project at Dalhousie University. The ATTSVE project is one of the largest international development projects ever granted to a Canadian University. The project focuses on improving agricultural programs in Ethiopian colleges.
“As global connections increase it is important to meet our neighbours and experience their culture to best support each other needs.”
Clara will be completing various case studies about staff, students and graduates from the ATTSVE program. “We are bringing awareness of this amazing program that is helping so many people receive agricultural and entrepreneurial education. I feel so fortunate to be part of the project.”
Clara hopes to be part of a positive change in agriculture. She is well on her way!