Oh the Places You’ll Go (Because of Ag)
Agriculture has taken me to a lot of different places throughout the years, but my story begins in Antigo, WI where I grew up on my family dairy farm. I’m Samantha Schuessler, as a little girl, you could find me in the barn carrying bottles to my calves with a line of kittens following behind me. If you were a neighbor of mine you have probably seen me walking a cow or horse down the road a few times.
I always had a passion for teaching our local youth about agriculture. I put on two field trips for over 300 4th graders each time to a local dairy farm to teach them about Wisconsin agriculture.
Somewhere Sunny and 75
My love for agriculture brought me to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, CA. I received a bachelor's degree in Dairy Science with a minor in Agricultural Communications. In college, my favorite extracurriculars were dairy club and dairy judging. Being on the Cal Poly dairy judging team brought me to new states including Utah, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
One of my favorite experiences in college was being the communication intern for CentralStar Cooperative in Waupun, WI. That summer I got to travel throughout Wisconsin to work at county fairs and dairy farms with our consultants and technicians.
Cheese-making and so much more!
I wrapped up my final months of college back in Wisconsin taking the opportunity to dive into the processing side. I worked night shifts at Sartori Cheese in Antigo on the production line making the 20 lbs wheels of our specialty cheese, specifically our famous BellaVitano. I learned every aspect from salting and pressing, soaking it in wine, and packaging! This led me to work sales for Sartori in six midwest states getting Wisconsin cheese onto more shelves. I loved being able to tell the story of the farms that contribute to Sartori and how 95% of dairy farms in Wisconsin are family owned.
I now work for The Hershey Company as a retail sales representative. I love interacting with consumers in the stores and studying the needs of our shoppers. I’ve enjoyed my time on-farm, making cheese, and at the stores experiencing all aspects of the food supply chain. As Alice, I would love to help connect consumers to buy our local Wisconsin-based products!