Meet the Candidates - Ashley Hagenow: My Traditions in Agriculture
There truly is no tradition quite like agriculture.
My journey in agriculture began, like many young agricultural enthusiasts, in organizations like 4-H and FFA. My love for the industry grew through leasing dairy heifers to show at the local and county fairs, learning skills such as how to grow vegetables, providing cheese samples at June Dairy Month events and serving in various FFA leadership roles.
These organizations provided a strong foundation in agriculture and allowed my younger sister, Sarah, and me to gain communication, time management, organizational, critical thinking, interpersonal skills and much more, which have allowed me to pursue a variety of opportunities in agriculture. A special thank you goes to my parents for sharing their passion and love for agriculture with us and endlessly supporting our dreams.
Because of my love for agriculture from a young age and my goal to pursue a career in the industry, I decided to further my education at the University of Minnesota as an Agricultural Communication and Marketing major. During my time as a college student, I have enjoyed deepening my knowledge of agriculture through immersive coursework, educational internships and extracurricular activities. These experiences include internships with agricultural and food marketing agencies, an editorial internship with Progressive Dairy, on-campus involvement with the Gopher Dairy Club and National Agri-Marketing Association and traveling across the country with organizations like Agriculture Future of America to share more about agriculture as the backbone of our society.
Even as my adventures in agriculture have taken me to many places, I am continually drawn to the diversity and abundance of Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agricultural industry. There are so many traditions that make our state a great place to call home, such as Friday night fish fries, unique varieties of cheese and the hardworking people who make agriculture possible.
Some of my favorite personal traditions in Wisconsin agriculture include exhibiting livestock species at the Wisconsin State Fair, learning more about the cranberry as our state fruit and connecting with consumers through serving ice cream at dairy breakfasts or Sassy Cow Creamery. It is these traditions and more that contribute to my deep love for agriculture and the immense impact the industry has had on my life starting with the 4-H Cloverbud program to now, as a Top Candidate for Wisconsin’s 76th Alice in Dairyland.
Thank you, Wisconsin, for the traditions and love for this extraordinary industry of agriculture.