Mike Opperman, 1989
Iowa State University
Mike Opperman
After my internship, I joined the editorial staff at Hoard's Dairyman and was an associate editor for nearly three years. When I left Hoard's, I worked briefly at the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders' Association before managing a dairy in southwest Wisconsin. From there, I managed projects for a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wis., before joining Charleston|Orwig more than 11 years ago. Today, I am director of account planning at Charleston|Orwig, a marketing communications firm located near Milwaukee, Wis., that specializes in working with clients throughout the food chain, from producer to retail. My wife, Kelly, and I still reside in Fort Atkinson with our children Maggie and Jack.

My internship at Hoard's Dairyman impacted my career in several ways. First, it introduced me to the larger dairy industry and helped me see the industry as a whole rather than my otherwise limited viewpoint. Working with industry leaders like Bill Knox, Gene Meyer, Steve Larson, Ewing Row (all editors), Jim Baird (art director) and others were catalysts for that expanded knowledge and education. Also, I became a much more polished writer and communicator because I was writing for the nation's leading dairy magazine, not the school newspaper. Finally, I established friendships that I still cherish today. And it gave me a leg up on my first job out of college!

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