Graduation Year: 2005
Major/Minor: Animal Science-Meat Animal
Position Title: Market News Reporter
Employer: USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
As a Market News Reporter I get to see the marketing of agricultural commodities all the way from the farm to the retail front. The job of a market reporter is to provide accurate and unbiased marketing information to the agricultural industry to promote the orderly marketing of agricultural commodities.
Currently, my responsibilities are centered around the lamb and veal industries, but the office, based in Des Moines, Iowa, has other reporters who’s main duties are related to beef, swine, pork, ethanol and feedstuffs industries. We collect data and create reports that reflect the current market activity, which are published for public usage.
This career has given me the opportunity to work with all the major packing plants and the producers that supply them with livestock; as well as the companies that procure the finished products to be used in the food service industry and in retail. I have also had the opportunity to attend auctions and report public livestock sales as well work with feedlots and cattle producers to apply grades to feeder cattle as they are received at the feedlot to determine the individual value of each animal. The highlight of my career has been working hand in hand with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange doing live cattle deliveries. This entails sorting cattle to look for individuals that have defects and do not fit the CME specifications, as well as applying a quality and yield grade to each animal to determine their value.
As I reflect back on my career and the experience that I carry with me, I owe a lot of credit to CAFES and the great teaching staff at UWRF. The hands on teaching method that CAFES offers, provides graduates a competitive edge to applying their knowledge from the classroom to real life situations in the workplace. The UWRF Staff are extremely knowledgeable in their field of study and are always willing to answer your questions or discuss any issues you have, even after graduation. I would especially like to recognize Dr. Gary Onan who I still keep in contact with today.