This article is the first in a series of articles featuring the leaders of the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation. The organization’s mission is to advance the education of women in agriculture. The organization also supports the student chapter of the Association of Women in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We’re a network of women who share a common passion for agriculture, and can cheer each other on,” said Chrissy Meyer, who serves as president of the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation. “The association benefits us all by providing professional, social and service opportunities to network with those we may never have met in our careers.”

Meyer is the U.S. marketing manager and global-marketing editor for Alta Genetics of Watertown, Wisconsin, implementing global-marketing and communication strategies. She also is responsible for event planning and creating content for the dairy- and beef-genetics company’s websites, videos and social media. Moreover, she mentors the company’s summer interns.

Meyer joined Alta Genetics after earning her bachelor’s degree in dairy science and life-sciences communication in 2018 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“My first role was managing the progeny-test program, and providing genetic consulting in the Upper Midwest on Alta’s large progressive partner dairies,” she said.

The job was a natural fit for Meyer, who grew up on a 40-cow Registered Holstein farm near Viroqua, Wisconsin. There she milked cows, fed calves and helped maintain management records. She was a member and officer of the Lucky Clovers 4-H Club and the Viroqua FFA chapter. She also belonged to Holstein associations at county, state and national levels. She was a 4-H dairy-judging coach and also served as a board member on the Vernon County Dairy Youth Fund.

“I always loved working on the farm and with the cows,” Meyer said. “I wanted to be part of the dairy or agriculture industry from a young age. I also was fortunate to have supportive parents and role models in 4-H and the Junior Holstein Association. They opened my eyes to what education and career opportunities were possible.”

While at student at UW-Madison, Meyer also was a member of the Association of Women in Agriculture.

“In addition to the professional contacts I’ve made through my Association of Women in Agriculture sisters, some of my most treasured friendships have their root in the organization,” she said.

As a young professional in the agriculture industry, Meyer has advice for other young women.

“My advice is two-fold,” she said. “First, step outside your comfort zone while you’re young – study abroad, take an internship far from home or in a field you’re less familiar with but would like to explore. That’s where you’ll grow the most. Second, don’t be afraid to reach out to women in your career field for advice. Most of the time we’ll be happy to help. You may even gain a lifelong connection or trusted mentor.”

The Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation currently has about 300 alumni and associate members. Meyer said she has learned there are more women than she realized who are willing and ready to offer their support as peers and mentors.

Visit awamadison.org for more information.

Lynn Grooms writes about the diversity of agriculture, including the industry’s newest ideas, research and technologies as a staff reporter for Agri-View based in Wisconsin. Email lgrooms@madison.com to contact her.