Not the cry, but the flight of the duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.
Affectionately known as “Duckie” to his friends on the Ag Campus, Josh Kelly is a fourth generation duck farmer and a natural born leader.
“The name Duckie started in my first year. Coming from a large duck farm in Ontario it was a way for my peers to recognize me and has really given me an opportunity to leave my legacy within the school. I want the AC to remember Duckie as a student who was always involved in school activities but also knew how to make the best of his university time,” explained Josh.
This large duck farm is King Cole Ducks Ltd., - the largest farm of its kind in Canada producing approximately 2.5 million ducks annually for its line of ready-to-cook and fully cooked duck products.
“The only animals we raise on the farm are ducks and a bunch of rowdy kids growing up on the farm,” he added.
Born and raised in Queensville, Ontario, this third year AgriBusiness student decided to come to school on the East Coast and Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture.
“Choosing to come to the Faculty of Ag over Guelph was a very difficult decision for me especially when Guelph University is so close to my home town,” he said. One of the deciding factors for Josh was class size.
“I didn’t believe I could succeed in the learning environment that the larger classes at Guelph provide,” he explained. “With the smaller class sizes at the AC you really gain a very good understanding of the information you are trying to retain and if you are struggling, professors are very good at making sure all of their students are properly taught.”
While here, Duckie has taken campus by storm. Living in residence all four years of his program he became a natural at getting others involved in activities on campus. Josh stays involved by being part of House activities such as House challenges and Monday night hockey. He encourages others to join him by forming friendships and never excluding anyone. “I show the students that getting involved is fun and not just a job,” he explained.
Duckie has now added Residence Assistant to his ever growing list of campus involvements. Leading is natural to Josh. “I’ve always been a leader. Building and maintaining personal relationships with others is the key to success as a leader,” Josh said.
Josh credits his grandfather as a source for inspiration when it comes to being a successful leader. “I’ve always looked up to my grandfather. He started his own farm when he was only 20 years old. Through hard work and being a great leader, he built the business to be the largest one of its kind in Canada,” Josh proudly explains.
These leadership qualities are why Kelly’s 2015 Impact Award came as no surprise to those around him. SAIL (Student Advancement in Leadership) Impact Student Leadership Awards recognize the dedication of the leadership students to their experiential learning and the sharing of their knowledge with others. Kelly was awarded the Residence Student Leadership award. The award recognizes an outstanding student leader who has demonstrated significant leadership, commitment and spirit improving the quality of life for students in residence.
“Getting involved within the campus is most likely the top advice I give to new students entering AC, added Josh. “For people who really want to enjoy the full experience of university life, getting involved is one of the best ways to do so.”
“I have tried to get involved as much as I can. I have been involved through DASA volunteering during orientation week as well as sitting on the student representative council. I also make it a priority to get involved in all house challenges that DASA presents which includes intramural sports events and community events. My position as an RA allows me to help students everyday with student transition and everyday issues.”
And as for his plans after graduation in May, Duckie knows one thing for sure.
“A career in agriculture is a pretty simple choice for me. I grew up working on the farm and there is no better feeling than getting done a long day knowing you have completed your goal. If it’s raising animals or growing crops, after your day you know that you are not only helping yourself earn an income but also helping feed Canadians,” he explained. “Agriculture is one of the only industries that will always be around. You cannot stop growing food because people will always have to eat and to know that you are doing that is pretty amazing if you ask me.”
Josh Kelly clearly has his ducks in a row!