It was as a little girl flipping through the pages of her father’s 4-H record books that Taylor Schuetz decided that she was going to be involved in agriculture.
As an agriculture business major preparing to graduate from the UW-Platteville next month, she also is turning over the reins as president of one of Wisconsin’s three collegiate Farm Bureaus.
With more than 20 ag-related student organizations on campus, Taylor says they stand out by being a general agriculture organization that welcomes everyone curious about agriculture.
“We’ve had to do some promoting of Farm Bureau since it is new to campus,” Taylor said. “We have come along way since Dale Beaty (WFBF Director of Training and Leadership Development) and Becky Hurley (WFBF District 2 Coordinator) first came to campus with the idea of a collegiate Farm Bureau.”
“We try to focus on ag policy and current issues so that students have an idea of what is going on right now and how it will effect their futures,” she said. “We also know that education is key. That is why we have speakers come to almost every meeting.”
The officer team (entirely made up of females) and the other 25 members of the chapter have planned a variety of activities.
“Last semester we focused on Ag in the Classroom projects,” Taylor said. “We went to Cuba City schools and read the Ag in the Classroom’s Book of the Year, How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? and made Wisconsin trail mix with the students.”
This spring, along with other student agriculture organizations they will co-host “Brag About Ag” which brings ag communicators to campus to discuss ag trends with members, and “Ag Day on Campus” to raise awareness across the entire student body with the help of food and farm animals.
“This (Collegiate) Farm Bureau wouldn’t be what it is without the great officer team we have,” said Taylor, who checks the chapter’s Facebook page and oversees their organization bulletin board in UW-Platteville’s Russell Hall.
A new officer team will be elected in May. Before serving as the chapter’s second-ever president, Taylor served as the secretary-treasurer while Ryan Ripp was president.
The ag business major hopes to get a job this coming spring involving her two emphasizes of communication and marketing.
“Farm Bureau just has great resources, and it covers everything,” Taylor said. “It’s a general organization where people can collaborate on ag and network.”
“Everything starts and ends with ag,” Taylor said. “And that’s where I like to be.”
Taylor grew up on a hobby farm near Evansville and showed hogs and beef cattle at the Rock County Fair as a 4-H and FFA member.
“My dad taught me everything I know about agriculture,” she said. “He grew up with a little bit of everything on his farm and passed on his love for ag to me.”
At UW-Platteville, Taylor was an ag ambassador and a member of Block and Bridal and Sigma Alpha (Sisters in Agriculture).
She considers her Champion Hampshire barrow in 2007 and Champion Simmental steer in 2010 at the Wisconsin State Fair as her top personal achievements.
Story by Amy Manske. Original version appeared in the April/May 2013 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route.
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