Hello, everyone, my name is Andrea Bidgood and I work at the University of Guelph at Laboratory Services. I have worked in the Drugs department for over four years, where we test food and agricultural products for the presence of veterinary drugs such as antibiotics. On top of working at the university, I am also upgrading my education by studying for a bachelor in food science.
Volunteering has always been a big part of my life since the age of 12 and the Leave for Change is the biggest challenge for me yet. I have always given my time to help improve my local communities, and now it's time to assist a new global community. This is my first international trip and this will be a whole new level of excitement.
Most recently I am taking part-time studies towards a Bachelor of Science with the University of Guelph’s Food Science program. Through this program, I am expanding upon my knowledge and skills in the food and food safety industry. My previous education is a 3-year advanced college diploma in Biotechnology with St Lawrence College, where I also completed a semester as a student at Queens University Molecular Ecology Lab,
In addition to my work and education, I also have over 13 years of volunteer work for my community and non-profit organizations.
I have over 14 years of volunteer experience in my communities and for non-profit organizations. During my youth, I was fortunate to have multiple mentors and leadership programs with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Through these programs I received support for my education, practiced leadership, and reached personal milestones. There was a high emphasis on volunteering and community involvement with the goal of paying our skills forward. As a result of the volunteers who saw potential in me and helped me become who I am today.
I continue to have a passion to give back however I can. I have a continued passion to serve my community and to help those in need. With Leave for Change, I am hoping to challenge myself even further and to inspire others to do the same.
My Leave for Change assignment is with the Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology. I am going as a Laboratory Advisor, where I will work with HICAST staff and a few students on their current methods in microbiology for poultry disease, as well as a method called HA/HI for poultry viruses. Upon arriving we have added a section on drug residue testing due to my expertise back home, and a field trip to a private accredited lab.
I am glad that I will be able to share my experiences from back home with staff and students, mainly about what I do at work and the importance behind it. I work in the drug residue section at Laboratory services where we have a multitude of different tests that we use currently and in the past. I am hoping to share in my drug residue workshop the basic principles behind the tests and how they could be implemented in the future. I also hope to give some insight to the HICAST students about possible career options and the future of agricultural testing.