Intro Re: Laura Svab-Methot

Home Forums 1. Participant Introductions (May 16 to May 22) Intro Re: Laura Svab-Methot

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    Laura Svab

    Greetings Cohort!
    My name is Laura Svab-Methot and I was in the Forces for 10 years, serving in the Reserves and Reg Force with the Infantry and Artillery. After serving with 1RCHA in Afghanistan with TF 1-08, I retired in 2009 and began studying at the University of Manitoba pursuing a bachelor of Science. I graduated with my BS in 2011, and completed a BA in History and French by the end of 2012 and a Bachelor of Education by 2014. I have been teaching high school Science and Math since and love my work; however, in the past year I have been drawn to a business idea that has inspired me to consider yet another possible career change. I read an article in the news regarding a farmer in PEI who sells seaweed as a feed supplement and fertilizer. What I found so inspiring about this sustainable endeavor was that recent studies have shown that feeding seaweed as a supplement to cattle can actually reduce their methane emissions by 20-50%. As a teacher who discusses global warning and greenhouse gases with my students regularly, this really stood out to me and had me asking so many questions. The most significant being, why is the government not encouraging all beef and dairy farmers to use seaweed with their animals now, yesterday? The more I have researched the more convinced that this could have such an important impact. Currently, I am only in the concept phase of this business as it requires significant and elaborate research. There are many variables, parameters and collaborators that need to be considered. I am hoping this program can provide me with guidance as I continue developing my business concept and strategic plan. My burning questions regarding the course are more specific to my own project in that I am not sure where to begin really, or how to properly create a legitimate business plan.

    Erin Melnychuk

    Your business concept is complex, which is why it feels overwhelming this early in journey. The business modelling process will help you break down your vision into much smaller parts, making it feel more manageable to figure out how all the parts fit.

    One thing I’d recommend for you, is to spend a lot of time in your research. You’ll have a lot of desk research to do, but I would also really urge to think about who are the ‘stakeholders’ associated with a concept like could be. Who has a stake in a concept like this? Go out and talk to them. We call this discovery research. Talk to as many stakeholders as you possibly can, and also ask them, from their perspective, who else you should be talking to. It’s not unheard of to conduct 50 to 100 discovery interviews for complex concepts like this.

    The nice thing about working on a canvas to develop the model, is that you can easily incorporate what you are learning in your desk research and discovery interviews in real time.

    Can wait to see how your vision evolves!

    Anthony Bullen

    Hey Laura,

    It was great hearing you talk about taking a naturally occurring overlooked plant that grows with little effort and get so many uses out of it. Some of which help the planet immensely! You literally almost have me wanting to start a seaweed farm! I mean you don’t even have to water it! I look forward to getting some answers to questions on it but will save it for another discussion. Also I just wanted to put it out there that I have a buddy I went to school with who is a marine biologist here… not sure if that would help you in any way. I am going diving to learn more about urchins at the end of the month if I can I will take some pictures or video of the type of kelp they are found around.

    Good luck with the research!


    Judy Evans


    I recently read an article on sea weed as food in Canadian Geographic. I will scan the article and email to you.

    As you strategize for the interviews, consider the provincial agriculture departments, they have lots of wisdom and are directly connected to the producers/stock growers and conduct research constantly. Also reach out to Agriculture Canada, they are the primary researchers in agriculture. As you explore, paths will develop and ideas will evolve as you identify where the real opportunity lies.


    Neil Burrell


    The U of Guelph – Go Gryphons! – has an animal nutrition program, as I’m sure other Agricultural Universities do, that might be researching the same questions as you’re asking. They also have a Department of Ag Economics that might be also be a source of interview candidates for you.


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