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Meet the Candidates: Michaela King; "Lucky for Me"

When you grow up on a farm and work in the agriculture industry, it’s easy to forget how lucky you are. Most people grow up without understanding where their food comes from or how much work it took to get it from field to plate. Most never create a bond with a kind, gentle creature like a cow or feel the ups and downs of a show day at a county fair. Most will never judge a tractor by its color or say the phrase “Nothing runs like a Deere”.

 

Lucky for me, I am not most people.

 

From a young age

At age 15, my dad began working on the farm I call home. Throughout my life, he shared his drive and passion for the agriculture industry with me and my four siblings. From riding in the tractor during planting and driving him back and forth on our Gator in the fall to traveling to our local butcher with steers and meeting seed salesman and other consultants, he exposed me to every aspect of the agricultural industry. Lucky for me, my father willingly shared his love for farming with me.

Lasting memories

My mom likes to claim she used to change my diaper and let me nap in the straw bed behind our cows at the Waukesha County Fair. I watched my siblings break heifers and steers from our herd and compete in the show ring. I aspired to be grown up and do the same. From my early years in 4-H Cloverbuds to the age of 19, I did just that. On the county and state level, I showed beef and dairy cattle. Lucky for me, I got to make some of my happiest memories alongside my younger sister in the show ring.

Deep-seated roots

I was always labeled the “farm kid” in school, so when it came time to pick a college, I looked for the chance to leave my small town and move to the big city. My love of writing and storytelling led me to study professional journalism and photography at the University of Minnesota. My plan? Leave my agricultural roots behind.

 

But the thing about roots is that they are not easy to remove. Within a few months, I found myself actively participating in the Gopher Dairy Club, a club I had been reluctant to join. The next year, I joined the Beta Chapter of Clovia, a sorority based in agriculture, and served as the editorial intern for Hay and Forage Grower magazine. That same year, I served as the 2019 Fairest of the Fair for the Waukesha County Fair. Within two years, I was right back in a world I had pledged myself to leave. I learned that the agriculture industry is more than a place where you grow up or get a job. My brother once told me, “It runs through our veins.” Lucky for me, agriculture is in my blood.

 

Finding my place

While studying journalism and interning with Hay and Forage Grower, my love for writing about agriculture grew.

 

Today, I find myself part of the almost 12% of Wisconsinites working in agriculture. I am a public relations manager for Filament, now broadhead, a marketing agency powering brands that influence how we eat, move, and live.

It took a little time, but I found my place in agriculture. I learn about and promote brands and companies that impact Wisconsin’s diverse $104.8 billion agriculture industry. I work with companies like Firestone Ag, which helps row and specialty crop growers plant their fields; and VAS, which helps dairy farmers take control of their data. Each day, my work makes a difference.

 

As a 77th Alice in Dairyland top candidate, I have a new opportunity to tell stories about and promote Wisconsin’s agricultural industry.

 

Oh, how lucky I am.  

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