Jamie MacPhail grew up in a small agricultural community on the south shore of PEI, from a young age he has had a love for agriculture and he has stayed in touch with it. Even though his background is in political science and government relations, education is only one piece of the puzzle for him; as he now working in the industry that he loves, for ADL, a company owned by 165 Island dairy farmers. Jamie is also a member of the Steering Committee for Farm & Food Care PEI. He currently resides in Argyle Shore with his wife Susan, and they are expecting their first child. Jamie enjoys hiking, volunteering in his community, and supporting local producers.
Name: Jamie MacPhail
Occupation: Corporate Secretary & Communications for ADL
What does your job entail?
There is really two components of my job.
- Corporate Secretary, which I am in charge of all of our board, board governance and management, and all the records of the company. We are cooperative, which means all management report to a board of directors, so I am in charge of managing that process, along with producer relations.
- Marketing and communications, so that is everything that we do as a company with the public, stakeholders, and really just the image of ADL in the community. This includes all communications, from us to producers, all the 165 dairy farmers comes and goes through me.
How long have you been involved in agriculture\food industry on PEI?
As a kid I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I worked on one for most of my childhood. When I attended university in Ottawa, I went down a different path and worked in government and the political field for a little while, and then I found my way back to working in agriculture with ADL.
What is your education/ experience prior to entering your current job?
Once I graduated from Bluefield High School, I went to the University of Ottawa, where I got a Political Science & Public Administration degree, then I went to Carleton University in Ottawa and did my masters in Political Management and Communications.
Are you involved in any extracurricular or community activities?
I sit on the Board of Directors for the Crapaud Exhibition, I am on the Easter Seals of PEI Board, I volunteer with the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Program, and a few other organizations that I keep myself busy with.
What’s your favourite way to eat PEI Dairy products?
My absolute favourite dairy product that ADL makes is the 2 Year Old Aged Cheddar Cheese, I like it on its own and also as an ingredient. That is by far my favourite product and just having it with a glass of wine is a perfect ending to my week.
When you were a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Like all children I think I went through phases of jobs, as a young kid even though I didn’t grow up on a farm, I was raised in a farming community and was very involved and I wanted to be a farmer. That kind of expanded in early high school, I thought maybe I wanted to be a veterinarian. My focus kinda shifted and I took a real interest in doing policy and government relations. And that is related to my job today, as I am still really connected with agriculture and still be able to work on policies and such to make sure the agriculture industry stays strong.
What would you want consumers to know about your business and the agriculture/food industry?
Working in marketing, my job is to tell the story of what is behind our product and us as a company. The big thing that we need to continue to reinforce to consumers is the amount of passion and commitment to quality that both we have as a processor but also the farmers have that produce the quality milk. The measures that are taken in PEI and in Canada far exceed anywhere else in the world. A lot of what we do on PEI doesn’t just meet regulatory quality standards but we go above and beyond that; communicating that commitment of quality from the farm gates to the food on peoples’ plates, that is what we are as a company and that is the core value since 1953.
Why do you do what you do?
I always say that if I don’t want to get up and go to work and am not happy, I shouldn’t be in that job. But that is not the case for me, I truly enjoy my job and working with the PEI Dairy Farmers, and working with other industries and organizations in agriculture. I love what I do, and it doesn’t feel like a job, it is just something I love.