Rhonda (Franck) Plourd, 1991
Iowa State University
After graduating from Iowa State University in 1993, I began working as an associate editor at Dairy Herd Management magazine in Lenexa, Kan. For the next eight years, I interviewed dairy farmers, researchers and industry leaders, compiling stories for the magazine. After marrying Phil Plourd in 1999 and moving to Madison, Wis., I took time off from the workforce in 2001 to be a full-time mother to my two daughters, Rebecca and Leah. In 2010, I became president of Deacon Housing, LLC. Our firm buys and refurbishes declining rental properties on Madison's east side.
The Hoard's Dairyman internship was a great starting point for my career in agriculture journalism. The emphasis on the science behind dairying and the importance of establishing relationships with researchers, dairy farmers and agribusiness people was memorable and one that I tried to replicate in my career in the industry.