Cattle, Editorials, and Toxic Kiwifruit

Kelsey Faivre, a senior in the Iowa State University agriculture communications program, recently joined the CAST staff as an administrative assistant. Kelsey has already communicated with the public in many ways, including articles in ag publications. Click here for her blog titled Like Farmer, Like Daughter
A Cattle Entrepreneur at Age Eleven 
Kelsey with her favorite show steer–Captain.
At the age of eleven, Kelsey Faivre wrote a business proposal. She needed to convince her skeptical parents that she could establish a viable cattle operation on their farm near DeKalb, Illinois, and it would all start with one “bucket calf”–a calf she would bottle feed and eventually turn into a successful business.

A farm financial adviser was impressed with the plan, her parents were willing to let her try, and the rest is history. The 60-pound sixth grader had a 700-pound steer by August, and during the next seven years, she showed cattle, sold “seed stock,” and learned about the intricacies of livestock agriculture.

“I love the animals,” Kelsey said. “Raising cattle is a great way to be involved in agriculture. It opened my eyes to the hard work and great people in the industry.”
Speaking, Writing, and Ag
Kelsey has remained focused on agriculture. As an Iowa State University senior, she is majoring in agriculture communications and minoring in animal science. Her extensive writing and speaking experiences help her succeed at reaching her goals. Kelsey was a dynamic speech contest participant in high school, and she finished as the Illinois champion and 4th in the nation for the FFA extemporaneous speaking Career Development Event.
Kelsey has published several articles, editorials, and blog entries in publications such as the Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation blog, ISU’s CALS Connections, and a county Farm Bureau magazine. “I love language,” Kelsey said. “It’s a great way to think.”
The Trip Almost Killed Me
Last year, Kelsey took the opportunity to join a study abroad trip to New Zealand–and of course she ended up writing about the country and its agriculture. One of her editorials was published in Feedstuffs. But as she points out, the venture had an ironic twist. “I discovered I have a strong aversion to kiwifruit.” Kelsey is allergic to the country’s namesake. “I loved the trip, but it almost killed me.”
CAST staff members are pleased to have Kelsey bring her many talents to the organization. Not much bucket feeding in the office, but plenty of writing–and we never serve kiwifruit at staff meetings. 
Photo at right: Kelsey with a New Zealand icon she is not allergic to.
by dan gogerty

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