Young Alum of the Month: Kendra Spier (CALS Career Services Feature)

January 31

Name:  Kendra Spier

Hometown:  Cambridge, WI

Major and Graduation Date:  Dairy Science and Global Resource Systems; Fall 2020

Favorite ISU class:  AnS 337 Lactation

Job Title & Company:  Global Development Education Coordinator for URUS

Kendra SpierMajor Job/Position Responsibilities:  URUS is a company with cooperative and private ownership including Alta Genetics, GENEX, Jetstream Genetics, PEAK, SCCL and VAS.  The mission of the URUS Global Development department is to drive the long-term market growth of the company by supporting the education and development of farmers in emerging countries.  As Education Coordinator, I am focused on supporting our projects by developing and managing educational activities which often include virtual trainings, consulting trips, social media communications and “train the trainer” curriculum for our staff to utilize in-country. The trainings usually focus on our expertise in bovine reproduction, genetics and record keeping.

What do you like most about your job/position?  I really appreciate how I learn something new every day about dairy farmers in different parts of the world.  I enjoy problem-solving with my colleagues in country on how we can best train on best dairy and beef farming practices while considering the cultural and regional context.
We have recently launched our Gates Foundation-funded Africa Dairy Genetics Multiplication Program in East Africa with the goal of training 100,000 dairy farmers in reproduction and genetics over 4 years, so I am very excited to lead and equip our team to reach this goal.

What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences?  There are so many different careers within the agriculture industry now and in the future that most young professionals are not even aware of, or they haven’t even been created yet.  I would advise students to first focus on the things they really like to do, what they can contribute to the success of an organization, and the impact they want to have.  From there, keep an open mind in your career path and focus on career-long learning post-graduation.

Original highlight posted by CALS Career Services,