Editor’s note: This article is the next in a series of articles featuring the leaders of the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation.

Liz Matzke was a member of the student chapter of the Association of Women in Agriculture during her years at UW-Madison. After graduating with degrees in dairy science and life-sciences communication in 2005, she joined the alumni association – Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation. She currently is serving a second year as adviser for the student chapter.

“It’s been a great experience,” Matzke said of her role as student adviser. “I’ve gotten to know students who have a lot of drive and passion for agriculture, and that also drives me.”

The student chapter and the alumni association are comprised of women of various ages with different career paths and interests. Students can gain insights as well as support and resources from that broad representation of members, Matzke said. The Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation also helps students by providing networking opportunities and scholarships.

Matzke grew up on a farm near Monroe, Wisconsin, where her family raised dairy cattle and swine. In addition to 4-H and FFA, Matzke was active in the Junior Holstein Association at county and state levels.

She remains involved in the dairy industry, serving as a volunteer for the Green County 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl. She also is assisting Holstein Association USA, which is having its national convention June 24-27 in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Matzke said she’s had two careers since graduating from UW-Madison. She held various positions during a 13-year career with World Dairy Expo. Then she began working in summer 2018 as a business-development manager for Matzke Diesel of Monroe. The company specializes in diesel-engine building and repair, and related electronic systems. It was founded by Matzke’s younger brother, Caleb Matzke. He recently added Chrome Six Nine, a new business that complements Matzke Diesel. The new business specializes in rims, wheels and lighting products.

“I really like working with family as well as in a rural setting,” Liz Matzke said.

She added she remains connected in agriculture because company customers include milk-tank haulers as well as farmers with tractors and combines needing repair.

Family members as well as 4-H leaders and her peers encouraged her to pursue her educational and career paths, she said. She encourages other young women to reach out to others.

“If you’re afraid to try something, you have a sisterhood who supports you,” she said of the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation. “Don’t be afraid to try new things because good things might come from them.”

The Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation’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. 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.