Minna Ylikantola, who graduated with a degree in plant production sciences, works as a senior inspector at the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Seinäjoki.
1. What did you study?
I studied plant production sciences, especially plant pathology, at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry on the Viikki Campus. In addition, I completed a study module in crop science.
2. What do you do for a living?
When I was nearing the end of my studies I completed a summer traineeship and worked as a fixed-term inspector at the South Ostrobothnia Employment and Economic Development Office and was offered a job there after graduation. Due to organisational changes, my current employer is the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Seinäjoki, where I work as an inspector. My duties involve plant protection and fall under the purview of the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira). Most of my time is spent on matters related to dangerous plant pests. In addition, I farm certified seed-corn at my farmstead and handle its presentation locally in my own packaging plant.
3. How does the future look in your field?
Due to factors such as global warming, the future would appear to constantly bring new plant protection challenges. In addition, dangerous pests threaten to spread to Finland with internationally traded plant materials, which requires constant vigilance and up-to-date information. In other words, there will be lots of work to do in plant protection, so I am hoping that the government will invest in these duties even in this time of austerity.
4. What is your favourite memory of your studies?
My most pleasant memories are probably related to practical laboratory work where we experienced many feelings of success working with new topics, as well as to my special practical training at the Ylistaro office of Natural Resource Institute Finland.