Dreaming Big about Cattle and Communications

Kylie Peterson Joins CAST Staff
Kylie Peterson grew up on a cattle farm, and even though her years at Iowa State University pulled her away from home, she hopes to keep at least one cowgirl boot in the pastures and feedlots of that reclaimed coal mining land near Albia, Iowa. “I started showing cattle in 4th grade, so it’s part of my life. I love working with livestock and using my experiences to converse with others about agriculture.”
Ten-year-olds don’t always take to farm life, but Kylie was a natural. The first bottle calf she showed cost $100—and lots of time, effort, and patience. Her family’s pasture and row crop acres support a thriving purebred

Cowgirl Kylie with Buck, the obstinate steer.

Simmental cattle operation, and within a few years, Kylie was actively involved with the Iowa and American Junior Simmental Associations. While working with cattle and judging livestock, she also developed valuable life skills such as public speaking, responsibility, time management, and work ethic. 

Of course, every happy story has to have a “Buck” in it, and for Kylie, that came in the package of a 1,200-pound steer. As she explains, “Buck had me ‘buffaloed’ in a sense. I hated working with him as he would either drag me around the feed lot or throw me up against barns.” Kylie loves cattle, but she reluctantly admits, “I wasn’t sad to see Buck get loaded up for that last trip to the processing plant.”
At ISU, Kylie was involved with Sigma Alpha (pro-ag sorority), Block and Bridle Club, and a number of other campus organizations. She used her love of photography while making advertisements and catalogs for the 2016 Tradition of Excellence Beef Sales Team, and she added to her writing and social media skills at the Egg Industry Center—designing brochures; composing content; and managing the organization’s Twitter account, Facebook presence, and website.
Kylie (middle) with her parents, sisters, and dog named Duke.
During her years of study, she continued to touch base with the home farm—she hasn’t lost her abilities to help with breeding, calving, tagging, vaccinations, and other chores. Designing an impressive web page is challenging, but helping deliver a calf late at night in frigid weather? That accomplishment produces immediate feedback when the newborn first stands on its trembling, awkward legs.
After graduating with a degree in agriculture, Kylie accepted a position at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. As she said, “My passion is to serve as an advocate for the agricultural industry through communications. It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together, and I look forward to bringing that enthusiasm for the industry to CAST.” 
It’s clear that the family farm has been the foundation for Kylie’s aspirations. As she points out, “My parents always encouraged my two sisters and me to surround ourselves with people who believe in our dreams. With determination and lots of hard work, you can accomplish anything.” Luckily for the world of agriculture, Kylie’s dreams include communicating about science, food production, and the varied people who keep us fed. The CAST community welcomes her.
by dan gogerty

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