For as big as the world is, it’s always funny to me when you realize that it’s actually really small at the same time. I definitely had one of those “small world” moments when I met this week’s “Let’s Hear It for the Girls” guest. Brandi and I met through #agchat (a Twitter conversation for people involved in agriculture) but we have only met in real life a couple of times. Despite that, within a short time of knowing her, I learned that I already knew her boyfriend (now husband) from my internship with the National Swine Registry. Yup – small world.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to learn more about Brandi and one thing no one can deny is that this girl lives her passions day in and day out. I hope you enjoy learning more!
B.S. – Dual major: Animal Sciences and Industry/Agricultural Economics – Kansas State University
M.S. – Animal Science; Behavior, Well-Being and Health – Kansas State University
Job title and company:
Manager, Issues Communication – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)
Brief description of NCBA:
We represent the American beef producer and work diligently to promote and maintain consumer confidence in beef.
Where were you before NCBA?
Kansas State University/Beef Cattle Institute
How did you become interested in working in the cattle industry?
As long as I can remember I’ve been interested in animal science. During my first year of graduate school, my passion for talking to people about animal science elevated to new levels and that started my journey to where I am today.
Around the Office
Office culture in a few words:
Extremely laid-back; but my office mates, Rooster and Cricket, keep me company and drive me crazy all at the same time.
A day at work looks like:
A normal day contains one or more of the following: checking major news outlets for hot button issues, coordinating appropriate responses to issues with our team, writing content for any one of a number of projects, researching issues or events, editing and a smidge of social media.
Favorite part of your job:
I am privileged to represent America’s beef producers AND I get to do something different every day!
Biggest challenge you face at your job:
Being a remote employee makes it difficult to pull away from the computer. At the end of the day, I sometimes forget to unplug and ‘go home.’
Apps (or other tech) you can’t live without:
Actually, I could pretty easily live without social media and the internet! I could absolutely not live without my iPod, though (although I did own a Discman back in the day).
Your personal style in a few words:
Purple. Laid back.
Office dress code:
I work from home so I can either be found in jeans and a K-State t-shirt or running shorts and, you guessed it, a K-State t-shirt.
Go-to work outfit:
When I am going to be in the Denver or D.C. office or if I’m going on a work trip, I’m almost always wearing a bright blazer, khakis and square toed boots.
Right now my purse contains my wallet, check book, three tubes of Chap Stick, bobby pins, a coozie, a lint roller, pens, a notepad and my sunnies.
Next splurge item you’re planning for:
A saddle for my barrel horse
Brush teeth, grab a banana and make the long commute to my office down the hall.
Favorite spot for brunch:
Early Edition – Manhattan, KS
On Saturday, you can be found:
Favorite spot for a 10-minute break:
Outside, throwing a ball for the mongrels of the house
Rodeoing, vehemently cheering for my K-State Wildcats, visiting friends and family, planning my next globetrotting escapade
When you have a day off, how do you spend it?
Since I work from home, when I take a day off I use it to get out of the house – ride my horses, go golfing, visit family or friends or go with my husband to a stock show.
At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet – young people who want to be in animal science really only know of one or two jobs in that field and veterinarian is the leading option.
I cannot wait to buy cows and start ranching. If I could stay home, raise cattle and rodeo that would be perfect.
One thing everyone should do when visiting your city:
Go to a K-State sporting event – we really are a family out here on the plains. The camaraderie and team spirit is contagious!
Cause you’re passionate about:
Breast cancer – it’s nasty and doesn’t care who it affects. It needs to be fought with more force than what it uses to attack.
Encouraging Other Women
I draw inspiration from some of my favorite Bible verses: Joshua 1:9, Romans 5:3-5, 2 Timothy 4:7 and Hebrews 12:1.
Best advice you’ve ever received:
“You have to make things happen, you can’t wait for things to pop up on your doorstep”
– my dad
Jackie McClaskey, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture
Daren Williams, Sr. Executive Director of Communications – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
In 10 years…
My husband and I will have some cattle and farm ground; maybe even a few kids.
Career wisdom for young professional women:
Be kind – work hard – be humble – never, ever, ever give up