Meet the Candidates: Jodie Weyland - The Story of Greener Grass
“The cows are out! I need backup,” I said to my mom over the phone. While feelings of fear and worry usually come from hearing that statement, this time felt inspiring.
I grew up on one of Wisconsin's 6,000 dairy farms, where our cows had access to grazing for over 120 days of the year! My responsibilities started at a young age with feeding the kittens. As I grew older, I progressed into herd management roles.
I was walking out to our pastures in July 2019 to gather the cows for milking when the cows broke through the fence to enjoy the greener grass! I quickly called my mom for backup, and we directed the herd back to the milking barn. That day our dairy cows taught me something special; they taught me not to be afraid to go for those greener grasses or in our instance, our passions!
Unlike our confident cows, I didn’t know where my agricultural experiences would take me. In 2016 I applied and was selected as the 48th Miss Rural Winnebago. My experiences in this leadership program ignited my passion for telling my farm story! Throughout high school, I continued to share my farm story while developing an interest in agricultural communications.
As I began understanding which greener grasses I wanted to pursue within Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry, I attended Fox Valley Technical College to further my working knowledge! While studying agronomy and dairy production, I felt like something was missing. I knew I wanted to be involved in agricultural communications and public relations. As a result, I joined the National Professional Agricultural Student Organization, which provided me with local, state, and national organizational leadership and marketing experiences.
After graduation, I began working at Tilth Agronomy. Tilth is an independent crop consulting company working alongside many of Wisconsin's 95% family-owned dairy farms to provide nutrient management planning, soil sampling, and scouting services.
Developing my foundation in agriculture has inspired me to follow my passions! Three years ago I started Farmer for a Day - a youth mentorship program in Winnebago County. Eagerly, I also took on the role of coordinator for Miss Rural Winnebago! Both of these roles have played a crucial part in helping local youth pursue their greener grasses!
Growing up on my family's farm taught me some of the most valuable lessons, including being willing to follow my passions. Whether you are a cheese curd lover or have yet to try a Wisconsin cranberry, be willing to go for your greener grass!