Name: Jessica Schmitt
Institution: Iowa State University
Current role with ADSA: Student Affiliate Division President
LinkedIn: Jessica Schmitt
- How long have you been involved with ADSA, and what compelled you to join the association?
I have been a member of ADSA for about four years now. I first joined as a freshman in college and have been actively involved ever since on a regional and national level. I was compelled to join the Student Affiliate Division when I heard about the networking opportunities and how I would be able to interact with fellow undergraduate students and industry professionals.
- What do you enjoy most about being a board member?
What I like the most about serving on the ADSA board is being the voice of our undergraduate division. At each meeting, I think about the students I represent and how I believe they would want me to voice an opinion on their behalf. As students, we see things differently as we are fresh eyes to the organization and are constantly thinking of the future.
- Why is it important for the dairy science community to participate in the association?
I strongly believe that ADSA is the foundation for how the dairy industry will progress and thrive. With research and findings, we are able to create more efficient and productive herds and food service practices. Being a part of an organization that thinks so futuristically and is constantly working toward improvement is vital for an individual and the dairy science community.
- What do you think is the most important resource that ADSA provides the scientific community?
For undergraduate students specifically, the most important resource that ADSA provides is the opportunity to conduct and present our scientific research. The student competitions give students the chance to share their knowledge through posters, papers, and presentations. This is a great way to get students exposed to research and helps them develop skills needed in the workforce.
- What strategic initiative of ADSA are you most passionate about and why?
One strategic initiative of ADSA that I am excited about is attracting new students to dairy science professions by showcasing opportunities available to them. As someone aspiring to have a career in dairy communications, I understand the importance of transparency and advocacy. Having this in place will be great as our younger members get involved and look for different opportunities within ADSA.
- What is one pressing challenge for the future of the dairy industry and how is ADSA addressing that through its new strategic plan?
One pressing issue in dairy is that consumers are increasingly removed from the farm. Most people have no connection to dairy and have never visited a farm. Because of this, the only information they receive about dairy production is through social media. ADSA hopes to build influencers to help promote scientific and innovative dairy products and production practices. This is a great way to help educate consumers and turn them toward dairy.