If you’re a woman like me – single, young, driven to achieve my goals and independent – you may often hear the question about a boyfriend or significant other. From a young age, I have never been truly convinced that getting married right out of post-secondary was for me. My goals are to try new things, travel and learn all that I can about many areas in the dairy industry. 

I grew up on the family farm and started milking cows around age 12. I have always wanted a career in the agriculture industry, but my vision is constantly changing, and my perspective on the livestock industry as a whole has grown as I’ve travelled and worked on various operations throughout Canada.  

I love to travel. I think the more you travel, you find there are more things to learn, such as skill sets to help you plan on your feet, make quick decisions and be self-sufficient. The more I’ve travelled and worked away from my parents' farm, the less enthusiastic I am about the settle-down way of life. My desire for experience and knowledge to better myself has become more apparent to me as I’ve matured. If I stuck to the tradition of settling down with a partner soon after graduating, would I have experienced all the life that I have immensely enjoyed? I have been able to sit in the centre of the ring at the most prestigious shows across North America picturing the greatest show cows, I have worked in the beef show industry which honed my fitting skills in both dairy and beef, and I have worked show strings with some great cows and people. 

The non-existent dating app on my phone isn’t there because it is just too difficult to describe what I do and where I live. And that’s OK with me. I don’t really land in one place very long and I couldn’t even begin to write down just one career in a simple phrase. 

It wasn’t always this way. Like most young people my age, there was a time when I sat in judgement of those pictures that popped up on my phone. But really, how are we actually supposed to judge someone over pictures and short conversations? I gave it all up. In my opinion, it is time that I could be using to better reach my own personal goals and ambitions.


The more I’ve travelled and networked across the industry, I’ve met many of the type of women I want to be around. These women are driven, career-focused, smart, passionate and face challenges head-on. They have success in the show ring and like winning, like myself and most people. I also believe in failure; failure teaches us what not to do so we can learn how to do it properly.  

The more I ponder past relationships that I had thought had potential, I can see my false expectations of how they don’t actually resemble the values and goals I have. I think that has been the number one reason that, for now and for the foreseeable future, I’m going to focus on my career, myself as a person and my mental health. I am a particular person, and I am fixated on my personal goals to the point dating without a purpose doesn’t interest me.  

I have a lot of friends who have made the decision to get married soon after university, and I support them wholeheartedly. On the other hand, I believe this independent trend is becoming a pivotal point in societal normality in that women are choosing to stay single longer, with a career, the opportunity to travel and to experience things more on their own, with little dependence on someone else. As we look at the future, maybe progress will include more women taking the reins of the goals into their own hands and breaking more traditions.

Brigitte Herrema is a cattle fitter and photographer who travels across North America for her work.