Karyn (Nelson) Eckert, 2003
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
After college, I moved to Central Wisconsin where my husband, Nathan, and his father operate a 100-cow dairy farm. Nate and I have two sons, Jacob and Matthew. I spent seven years working for community weekly newspapers in Abbotsford and Medford as a writer and photographer. I earned recognition from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association for my work, including the top General News Photo in our circulation group in the 2008 Better Newspapers Contest. In 2012, I decided to move on from newspapers to be able to spend more time with my family and on our farm. I am currently the administrative assistant for the Agriculture and 4-H Agents at the Taylor County UW-Extension Office. My daily work varies, but I spend a lot of my time creating newsletters and distributing information on extension programs for farmers and 4-H families.
One of my passions is advocating for agriculture, which I have done through work, social media and through my involvement with the Taylor County Farm Bureau where I serve as vice-president. Last year, I worked to start a breakfast during Medford's Independence Day celebration called, "Farm Fresh on the Fourth." The event's goal is to promote local agriculture and connect people with the farmers who produce their food. In December, Nate and I were recognized as one of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau's finalists for the Young Farmer and Agriculturalist Achievement Award.
Hoard's Dairyman has a very high standard, and working there instilled high standards in my own work. As an intern, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit dairy farms in other parts of the U.S. and meet people from all around the country. I have a lot of respect for all dairy farmers, big and small, and those in the agribusiness community who work hard to support them. You'll often hear dairy farmers critical of those bigger and smaller, but working for Hoard's Dairyman taught me we are really all on the same side. I also have to say that having Hoard's Dairyman on my resume really grabs the attention of a potential employer.