I grew up on a small dairy farm near Prescott, in Ogemaw County. We peaked at about 60 cows, many of them crossbreds, but it was a story that may sound familiar to many.
A child of Hungarian immigrants, my grandfather originally farmed across the road from our original home farm. Like many young farmers, my parents started out with one cow and built everything from scratch, including our first two milking parlors. Their children were their top workers, ebbing and flowing over time between part- and full-time employment.
From age six I was active in 4-H showing dairy cattle, specifically a Brown Swiss named Buttons. Programs like Exploration Days and State Awards helped me grow out of my corner of the state. Shortly before I graduated high school, we lost the farm to bankruptcy, ending a lightly held dream of mine to return to the family dairy after college.
Even without my own dairy I still wanted to stay in agriculture. Starting college I pictured myself writing for Hoard’s Dairyman, working in Africa for Heifer International, or maybe marrying a dairy farmer. After meeting my husband, then an aspiring high school science teacher, my dreams became more local in the best way possible.
After graduation, I had the opportunity to serve Michigan pig farmers working with Michigan Pork Producer’s Association. From there I went to the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division, helping veterinarians share their insights on everything from Bovine Tuberculosis to Kennel Cough. Finally in 2019 I came to Farm Bureau to manage the Young Farmer program.
I love interacting with young agricultural leaders who inspire me with their hard work, dedication and passion. I help create opportunities for leadership, growth and networking for our 18–35-year-old farmers striving to build a future for themselves and their families.
I first interacted with this group through freelance work taking photos of Young Farmer Award winners. I left from each shoot feeling like I’d just hit a jackpot of hospitality and kindness. I still feel that way today and I am proud to serve such great individuals.
The best parts of my job are the personal relationships I’ve built with members, watching them grow and thrive in a leadership role.
Outside work I live here in Lansing with my husband, Kyle, and our girls Elliot (3) and newborn Ezri. We just enjoyed our first camping trip as a family, complete with quiet watercraft.
We’d love to move to the country one day so Elliot can have the pony and cows she keeps asking for, and starting her 4-H animal projects.