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Meet the Candidates: Katrina Hoesly; "Beyond the Farm Gate"

There's a special magic that comes from being raised in agriculture.

 

As the fifth generation to walk our farm, I feel it every day. Agriculture is more than a way of life—it's at the center of my heart. Like 95 percent of the dairy farms in Wisconsin, our farm is family owned. Wisconsin is home to approximately 5,600 dairy farms which make up the community that has a $45.6 billion impact on our state’s economy. It is humbling to be part of something so vital to our state.

My passion for agriculture ignited when I led my first calf at the Fennimore Kiddy Fair with my grandpa at my side. From that day on, I felt the rhythm of the farm life and began learning invaluable lessons in hard work, critical thinking, and compassion from my family. Together, we worked from dawn until dusk, each of us playing a vital role in the success of our farm. We understood the importance of giving our all to everything we did and still do.

 

However, my adventures did not end at the farm gate. I became active in 4-H and FFA, where I discovered a passion for storytelling and servant leadership, especially throughout my year as a Wisconsin FFA State Officer. All of this inspired me to find my place in agriculture, where almost 12% of Wisconsin jobs are found.

This deep-rooted love led me to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where I am a fourth-year student majoring in Agricultural Marketing Communications and Agricultural Business, further sharpening my skills in storytelling and communications. Professionally, I have held marketing internships with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Compeer Financial, World Dairy Expo, Culver Franchising System, American Farm Bureau, National FFA, and Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center. Each opportunity strengthened my connection to Wisconsin agriculture and fueled my passion for promoting its vibrant diversity.

From the Fennimore Kiddy Fair to now, a Top Candidate for the 77th Alice in Dairyland, agriculture remains an integral part of my life. As a farm kid, I am grateful for my experiences beyond the farm gate, which allow me to celebrate the distinct and abundant stories of Wisconsin's $104.8 billion agriculture industry and the remarkable individuals who make it all possible.

 

There is a special magic within each of our agriculture stories—a magic that inspires and unites us all wherever we are in Wisconsin and whatever side of the farm gate we stand on.

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