The Dairy Girl Network is has created the Forward Under 40 award. This award will be presented bi-annually at Forward TogetHER, the Dairy Girl Network National Conference, and will honor four dairywomen who are working to better our industry today.
These honored dairywomen exemplify passionate involvement and possess strong leadership skills, innovative thinking, and ideas that are impacting the industry right now.
All applicants were nominated by fellow dairywomen and men from across the country and were judged by an outside panel made of anonymous industry professionals and producers. We are excited to announce the first four recipients that were honored earlier this month at the second Forward TogetHER National Conference.
The first highlighted dairywoman to be dubbed Forward Under 40 was Candice White from Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. As a third-generation dairywoman, White is the Dairy Manager at Paul Dotterer & Sons and oversees the milking center and all herd health. In addition, she manages over 15 employees and 1,650 cows and heifers.
White is also serving her second three-year term on the PDMP Board of Directors and also serves on the Pennsylvania Beef Council Board of Directors. She has been at the forefront of using social media to educate consumers about the positive aspects of not only the dairy industry, but dairywomen specifically. You have recently seen her on the “She-I-O” music video produced by Land O’ Lakes.
Another recipient of the award was Jessica Peters. Peters grew up on her family dairy farm in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where they milk Jerseys. She went to Pennsylvania State University and before returning to the farm full time, she traveled to New Zealand to explore their culture and dairy industry. She is also active with her local county fair and the Pennsylvania State Jersey Association where she serves as treasurer.
Peters is a Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 10 graduate and has grown as a leader and continues to inspire others by sharing her role as a dairy farmer and the challenges we face. She writes a blog for Hoard’s Dairyman, wrote a children’s nursery rhyme book, and even started a dairy dance off challenge. Through social media, Peters shares her authentic, comedic, and inspirational thoughts on the industry and what farmers do to a large group of followers.
Kristi Fielder is another recipient of the Forward Under 40 award. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, she started as an intern with GENEX and she has held multiple roles in the company ever since. She has now advanced her career to serve as the Vice President of Production and manages over 125 employees in production locations throughout the USA. She and her staff are responsible for the health and well being of the dairy and beef bulls and the production of over 12 million units of semen. Fielder contributes significantly in the GENEX senior management team and challenges the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ of thinking.
The final recipient of the Forward Under 40 award is Jessica Tekippe. Tekippe has been deeply rooted in the dairy industry from a young age. From competing in the national dairy quiz bowl contest, to being crowed Iowa Dairy Princess, she has pushed through on her dream to own her own dairy one day. In partnership with her husband, they have started their own farming operation from the ground up.
Tekippe has also had a big role on changing the nutritional outline of the global dairy industry. As the lead for research and develop for Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition North America she has decided it is vital that the dairy industry rise to the level that the swine and poultry industries are for amino acids. Tekippe has a hunger to completely change where nutrients for the dairy cow come from.
The Dairy Girl Network is honored to present this award to these four highly-deserving individuals. The award will be presented again in 2020.