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Hilke Beuck

Research Technician - Field Crops


Hilke is a Research Technician with the crops division of OCCI, and specializes in small plot research trials for herbicide efficacy, fertilizer and germplasm screening. Hilke truly enjoys the diversity of her role on the crop research team and that there are no dull moments throughout the day. Her workdays are mixed with tasks in the office, research in the laboratory, hands-on work in the greenhouse, and numerous jobs out in the field and plots. Hilke says organization and multi-tasking are especially important skills to possess in crop research.

Hilke highlights the amount of planning and organization that goes into crop research. The trials need to be closely set-up and looked after to ensure the best and most thorough analysis, evaluations and results. When the team is performing trials and research during the cropping season, the planning and organization help them to navigate and be successful through the busy times of seeding, evaluating and harvesting. Hilke explains that the team performs a wide variety of evaluations during the growing season to help the client and project succeed which include performing soil, biomass, grain and plant samples, measuring NDVI greenness, completing plant counts, and taking pictures.

Hilke especially enjoys getting to work with students every year — the crop research team has summer students and direct field study interns join the team each year. She likes to give students a better understanding of what agriculture research entails, see them get hands-on experience in the field, greenhouse and laboratory, and watch their education and experience in the agriculture industry progress. 

Hilke takes a lot of pride in her job. She says the best part of all their crop research efforts is being able to see a happy client and know that their research helped them move forward with their product or service. 

Prior to working at Olds College, Hilke worked with a German company for eight years involved in the cultivation of a new strain of grains and was responsible for the technical realization of field, greenhouse and laboratory trials of wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Hilke received an Agricultural-Technological Assistant Diploma in 1990 from Germany.

Hilke and her husband were both raised in Germany and first came to Canada for an outdoor adventure — a 2,500 km canoe trip across Northern Canada. They crossed northern Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut in their canoes and fell in love with the great outdoors. They decided they would love to work in Canada and experience the winter months after having such an enjoyable time during their first Canadian adventure. 

When they returned to Germany, instead of applying for a visitor VISA to return to Canada, they made the decision to apply for permanent residency. Hilke said they were both “bitten by the northern bug” and wanted to make Canada their home. 

When they first moved permanently to Canada, they lived in northern Alberta and spent the majority of their time in the northern provinces — especially the Yukon. Hilke said their biggest passion, white water kayaking, brought her and her husband to the Olds/Sundre area. Hilke says they chased the white water to Central Alberta and made this area their home since it keeps them close to all their interests and hobbies. Hilke and her husband participate in all water sports and love the adrenaline kick of being near the rushing water. 

When Hilke isn’t in the field or laboratory, she is most likely canoeing, kayaking or cross country skiing. She also goes to the gym everyday and makes time for her second passion of wildlife photography. She loves to be outdoors and take pictures of animals, and also takes pride in entering photography competitions. In a recent Photographer of the Year contest which included over 50,000 entries, Hilke’s photograph made it to the finals. She says her best pictures are from the Sundre and Olds areas — another reason she is happy to call this area home.


Crop Research

Hilke Beuck Headshot