Please describe your agricultural background.
I grew up on a small family dairy farm in central Wisconsin with five siblings and both parents working on the farm. We grew our own crops, raised our own replacement heifers, belonged to the local 4-H club and participated in FFA. Coming from a farming background helps me understand both the benefits and the challenges of owning and operating a farming business.
What territory will you cover?
My new territory as a sales manager is western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa.
What are your new responsibilities?
My responsibilities are to increase sales and support for QLF (Quality Liquid Feeds) in the country. We not only help farms find solutions, we can also help dealers, cooperatives and nutritionists grow their business by supporting them on these farms, in meetings and in training in our products and supportive technical knowledge.
What previous positions have you held?
Prior to being hired on with QLF, I was a calf and heifer specialist for nine years with Land O’ Lakes, working with two cooperatives and multiple locations in central Wisconsin. I spent most of my time working with larger dairies and providing nutritional sales and technical support for my fellow sales team. I set up and organized meetings, did research on new products and technology, and presented my findings to the team and our customers. My strong dairy calf and heifer background comes not only from the above-mentioned work experience, but also from owning and operating a 200-plus calf and heifer custom raising business for 10 years.
I’ve worked with farm director Mike Austen with WDEZ (Green Bay radio) for over three years on a weekly radio program called “Answers From the Heartland” where we discussed relevant topics of the day, primarily dealing with the calf and heifer industry.
I’ve enjoyed working with veterinarians to set up farm protocols as well as organize and moderate farm team meetings with owners, vets, accountants and other agricultural specialists. We worked together to find solutions to problems, search out new ideas and possibilities, and set both short- and long-term goals for the farm to achieve.
Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
There are two main people who have made the biggest impact on my career: my husband, Vern, and my former supervisor with Land O’ Lakes, Larry McRoberts. They both were instrumental in pushing me forward to the unknown. I became a calf and heifer specialist before there was even a job description. I’ll forever remember something Larry told me when I started: “Planning puts you in control. Fail to plan and you will plan to fail.” If you truly believe in something and have a passion for it, you will succeed.
Why did you choose this company?
I chose QLF because they are a family-owned company that promotes and lives “quality.” They believe in helping producers become profitable, and they strive to improve and provide the research and technology to do this. Farms must constantly improve their efficiency in order to continue to be profitable. Companies that want to stay competitive and remain in the industry long-term must do the same. We can’t just be a commodity, we must be a partner and work together to grow.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
My goals are to help producers and dealers realize the benefits of feeding QLF on the farm and make QLF an integral part of the farm team. We supply so much more than molasses. The research being done on the benefits of feeding sugar, especially sucrose, to ruminants is incredible.
With my background in calf and heifer raising, I want to put more focus on young ruminants transitioning onto forages and how sucrose helps develop the proper bugs to increase the utilization of the forages fed.
As a calf and heifer specialist, I’ve seen time and time again how calves can struggle transitioning from a milk-fed diet to a functioning rumen. Especially in the dairy industry, we are seeing fantastic calves raised to weaning and overall well-grown heifers. Unfortunately, we do still seem to struggle on the transition calf area.