What is it that you want to do? What’s your dream come true at World Dairy Expo (WDE)?
Become an elite judge? WDE has the world’s most challenging and (arguably) rewarding contest.
Find the best cheese curd? Don’t bother searching – it’s the garlic dill.
Meet lifelong friends? That’ll probably happen celebrating supreme champion on Saturday evening.
Or maybe, it isn’t something quite as predictable.
Fueling a passion through a career.
WDE has been something I’ve attended since I was 8 years old. It was a vacation that my siblings and I looked forward to all year. At the age of 25, I’m still attending, except it’s even cooler because I’m getting paid to be here. Perks of a great gig, right?
I never thought I’d end up at WDE chasing after a dream career. My journey started in 2012 when I was competing on the Penn State dairy judging team. My coach (shout out to Dale Olver) introduced me to Josh Hushon, whom I interviewed with for an internship at Bader Rutter, a successful and respected marketing agency. It was during that summer that I learned my passion still lied within the dairy industry, but I needed a creative outlet too.
After graduating from Penn State, I joined Cargill’s marketing team in 2014, moving specifically to a dairy marketing role in early 2015. Josh joined the dairy team not long after that (it’s a small world), and the team has added several incredible teammates over the past two years. Through this position, I’ve been able to work with our dairy sales team and customers on a variety of projects. I’ve learned valuable life lessons, made a lot of great friends and been able to hear the stories of dairy producers all over the country. Getting to work within the dairy industry and for a business that I believe in is rewarding and drives me to be the best version of myself.
Little did I know that over these past three years, I would also be a key part in leading our plans for WDE. It’s crazy how I went from spending 12 hours in a car (bonding, kind of) with family to being a part of the show professionally. Go after what fuels your passion!
Fall in love …
WDE can also be a place to fall in love … with something other than the grilled cheese. It sounds impossible, but just ask Mandy Brazil and Graisson Schmidt. Mandy, a California native, met Graisson originally in passing at a California state show where he was working as a fitter. They exchanged numbers, should they ever cross paths in Wisconsin, Graisson’s home state.