19 Feb Career Spotlight: Marketing in the Feed Industry
When most people think of a career in agriculture, they picture a farmer tilling a field, a rancher working cattle on horseback or a dairyman milking cows. They do not think of a writer, videographer or marketer. But believe it or not, there are career paths in the agriculture industry for those with the unique gift of telling stories through different mediums.
Meg Bennett, a Marketing Coordinator for Cargill Premix and Nutrition or CPN in Brookville, Ohio, can attest to that with her own career. Everyday Meg’s job is to help meat, milk and egg producers provide food for consumers.
Telling the stories
Cargill Premix and Nutrition provides scientific, technology driven nutrition expertise to producers and feed manufactures to ensure feed rations are correct, the livestock are growing and businesses are meeting their goals.
As a marketing coordinator for CPN, Meg’s duties change from day-to-day to assist in communicating the company’s data and then sharing its customer’s success stories. Her duties can range from office work like participating in meetings, answering emails or planning strategies, to fieldwork like meeting CPN’s customers and interviewing them.
“Other parts of my day can consist of writing stories or press releases,” Meg said. “I think that’s what I enjoy about my job. It requires me to both be at a desk to manage internal communications of projects with my co-workers, but it also allows me to get out into the field and meet the people who matter most in agriculture.”
One tangible moment Meg can point to in her career that expresses why she loves her job as a marketing coordinator happened at the 2017 World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
Meg and her CPN team had the opportunity to facilitate a virtual farm tour with Bryan Fustead of Fustead Holsteins in Wausau, Wisconsin at the World Dairy Expo. Bryan feeds his dairy cattle CPN’s feed called Provimi. During the virtual tour, Bryan shared his experiences of working with CPN’s team and why he was so passionate about feeding Provimi to his dairy herd.
While the interview took place, Meg had an awestruck moment. By being a part of the team that prepared and facilitated the virtual tour, she was able to give a real farmer the platform to share his agriculture story.
“I don’t think you can find a more noble cause then getting to work for a company whose primary goal is to help the world thrive and to put nutrition and food on people’s tables,” Meg said. “Though it’s a little bit different, right — I’m not the farmer necessarily out in the field — but being able to support them, it’s a huge thing for me. It helps me to love my job and love what I do.”
Discovering the differences
Sales and marketing go hand and hand, but the jobs are different. In order for a company to be successful, the sales and marketing teams need to have a working relationship.
Members of the sales team visit customers everyday and work with them to find the right CPN products for their herd.
“We’re looking at sales but more importantly at CPN we’re working to make the right decisions for our customers,” Meg said. “Know that and knowing what they do , that allows us in the marketing department (to do our job).”
Essentially, the sales department makes the sales but the marketing department provides them with the tools, like informational videos or press releases, to use in the field.
What career advice would you give to someone entering the agriculture industry?
Stepping out of your comfort zone
Meg’s number one career advice would be to take the leap even if you are afraid.
“The thing you’re most afraid of, you have to do,” she said speaking from experience.
While completing here sophomore year in the agriculture communications program at Ohio State University, Meg served as an intern for Beck’s Hybrids, a family-owned and operated seed company.
“I thought I knew all about marketing. That’s exactly where I wanted to be,” Meg said. “I loved that team. I loved what I got to do that summer. I thought I needed to do that internship again.”
After expressing her career aspirations to a supervisor at Beck’s Hybrids, Meg received some unexpected advice — explore other career opportunities out of state. Meg decided to take the advice following some deep reflection.
“So, the next summer I took an internship up in Madison, Wisconsin with a marketing agency,” Meg said. “It’s the scariest think I’ve ever done. I had never been to Wisconsin until I decided to drive the eight hours up there the day before my internship, but it was one of the best decisions. Go for it to see those opportunities. Having those experiences, they’re priceless. Don’t let fear be the determining factor of where your career goes.”
Follow Meg on Twitter: @ohioaggirl https://twitter.com/ohioaggirl
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