Kyra Stiles is the Agri-Environmental Development Coordinator with the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Land. Kyra grew up in Wild Blueberry and Maple Syrup Production in Elgin, New Brunswick; and from a young age she developed a love for working and being outside. Kyra studied Biology at the University of New Brunswick and then went on to study Environmental Sciences in Agriculture at Dalhousie Agriculture College, which led her to completing many research projects and working in the agriculture industry on PEI. Kyra moved to the island and began working for the Department of Agriculture and Land in 2013. Most days Kyra can be found in a field, whether she is soil sampling and harvesting research plots for work, or in her garden during her free time. Kyra is passionate about the environment and thoroughly enjoys spending time outdoors.
Name: Kyra Stiles
Occupation: Agri-Environmental Development Coordinator for the PEI Department of Agriculture and Land.
What does your job entail?
My work has a variety of different aspects to it. There’s a research side, a program coordination side, and the part where I work very closely with clients on farm particularly in nutrient management and soil health work. This involves working with a variety of agriculture researchers, agronomists, and producers on many projects related to nutrient management, soil health and soil quality demonstrations. I also work closely on some of our department led research projects that include the long term soil quality monitoring project, agricultural greenhouse gas emissions project, and more recently, research that is related to soil quality and soil health testing.
How long have you been involved in agriculture\food industry on PEI?
About 6 years now, after I finished my education at Dalhousie University in Truro, I moved over to the Island and I have been working in this position since 2013.
What is your education/ experience prior to entering your current job?
I started off as a summer student for the Potato Research Center in Fredericton, NB and that is where my interest in soil research originated. I went to school at the University of New Brunswick and received my Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Biology. Then I continued on to the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus where I took a Master of Science in Agriculture with a focus on Environmental Science. During my Masters degree all of my research and field work was on PEI focusing on potato production, so that is what led me here to the Island.
Are you involved in any extracurricular or community activities?
I am a pretty active person so I spend a lot of my time outdoors and really enjoy gardening. I am also involved with the PEI Senior Women’s Soccer league.
What’s your favourite way to eat PEI potatoes whatever they grow?
I think baked potatoes with sour cream is my favourite way to eat them.
When you were a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I was always changing what I wanted to be, but overall I think I knew that I wanted to work outside or do something that is connected to the environment. And I really enjoy the work that keeps me connected to food production, soil, and the growing season.
What would you want consumers to know about your business and the agriculture/food Industry?
It is very important for people to know that there are a lot of people in the agriculture industry that are very innovative and there is a lot of collaboration going on between farmers and researchers, always looking at new management practices. I think that there is a lot of very valuable research going on here on PEI, and many individuals working on it to make sure that it is always evolving.
Why do you do what you do?
I really enjoy working with the agricultural community and working alongside producers on PEI, as well as the many different agriculture research and industry groups and watershed associations. I also like that the work that I do is constantly changing throughout the seasons.