Saying Yes

My parents raised me to say yes more than no and ask for help along the way. This has served me well and allowed the chance to grow both personally and professionally, meet amazing, smart, funny people, and work collaboratively to bring forth experiences and knowledge to those who crave it.

As I say hello to new opportunities and farewell after five years at my last job, I reflect fondly and with gratitude on the amazing work our team accomplished. I came to work for dairy farmers with the goal of learning more from them and about the research in nutrition and agriculture.  I knew I needed to do the very thing I talk with my peers about – build my network to help me know who to go to help best answer the food, nutrition and agriculture questions people have today. We laughed, we learned, we worked hard to think differently and Honor the Harvest.

We hosted over 200 diverse professionals, farmers, chefs, dietitians, doctors, academics, environmentalists, veterinarians, scientists and more, on farm and in sessions to learn about agriculture and nutrition science combined. #HonortheHarvest #FairOaksFarms

Farm to fork questions were on people’s minds before I came into that position, and this hasn’t changed. The conversation is still surrounding us, and as a dietitian and health professional, it’s my goal to help people be informed with accurate, actionable information so they can make choices that they feel good about. And to get to know the farmers who grow and raise our food.

Today’s food, nutrition, and agriculture conversations are complex, and it’s going to continue to take all of us, wherever we work, with all of our educational backgrounds, to help people know and continue to trust agriculture and their food, and to truly understand the commitment and contributions of farmers to people and the planet. Thank you, dairy farmers, as it was with pride and happiness I got to call you my boss these past five years, and I’m thrilled and so pleased to now also call you my friends.

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Hi, Cow. One of many beautiful dairy farms I got to visit and learn from the farmer directly.

In life, personally and professionally, opportunities come your way, especially if you keep your eyes open and work hard to learn skills and build relationships with others you respect. Sometimes you know almost all the details, and sometimes there are new challenges ahead. If you make intentional choices, aren’t afraid to ask for help when it’s out of your current comfort zone, you get the chance to grow and do new things.  You, your network, and your target audience will then have the benefit of the pool of knowledge you bring forth by combining your expertise with that of your network and skills, both existing and new.

It’s time for the next adventure, getting back to my roots in retail, going global with the food conversation, and helping share the story of food, nutrition, and agriculture in new ways with partners across the food supply chain and in health and wellbeing. To everyone I’ve met along the way, I look forward to working with you in new ways, bringing to life what we know in ways that people feel connected to and comfortable actually taking action upon, and continuing to grow right along with us. Buckle up. 2018 is going to be a great year!

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ― Apple Inc.

I was the Vice President of National Dairy Council 1/7/2013-1/8/2018. 

I consulted for IGA as their Health & Wellbeing Advisor, currently teach in their international retailer classes and work with other retailers, and will continue to be a trained nutrition professional who is a champion for food, nutrition, and agriculture understanding and for overall wellbeing of people and planet.


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