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Meet the Candidates: Halei Heinzel; "Embracing Opportunities in Agriculture"

My journey in agriculture has led me to pursue every opportunity and embrace every open door, from species to specialty crops.

Growing up in Oconomowoc, far from a farm, I felt disconnected from my food and the Wisconsin farmers who work hard to produce it. It wasn't until I joined my high school's FFA chapter that I got my first taste of Wisconsin agriculture, quite literally, when I milked a cow for the first time. Six years later, I've continued to seize every chance to learn more about Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry.

My newfound love for agriculture led me to college, initially at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Dairy and Equine Science with dreams of becoming a large animal veterinarian. However, when the pandemic shook up the world, I had to rethink my plans. As they say, when one door closes, another opens, leading me to the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon graduation from FISC in March of 2021, I decided to continue my bachelor's degree at UW-Madison, where I will be graduating in May with a degree in Life Sciences Communication.


The summer before I started at UW-Madison, I had the incredible opportunity to work for the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board, caring for and milking the demonstration herd and educating fairgoers about our state’s impressive $45.6 billion dairy industry in Dairy Lane. It was through this opportunity that I met Alice in Dairyland for the first time, witnessing how she connects with consumers and shares the impact of our $104.8 billion agriculture industry. This experience ignited my passion for agricultural education and advocacy.

During my time at UW-Madison, I've been fortunate to participate in various agricultural opportunities, including internships with Farm and Industry Short Course and the Professional Dairy Producers. I have also been involved in my campus community through student organizations like the Babcock House Student Cooperative, the Wisconsin Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Association, Science Communication Club, and the Polo Club. Now, as a 77th Alice in Dairyland top candidate, I'm thrilled to have the chance to bridge the gap between producers and consumers, encouraging others like me to embrace every opportunity available.

Thank you, Wisconsin farmers and agriculturalists, for taking me under your wing and providing countless opportunities for growth in the field of agriculture.


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