Alum Steps Out of Comfort Zone to Embrace New Experiences

Jan. 3, 2019

Agribusiness and Applied Economics alum Andrea Kackley credits her ability to step out of her comfort zone as a key component in her success. While a student in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), she took classes that sounded interesting and ventured outside the college, surrounding herself with students who were having very different experiences from her.

“The things I learned the most from were things I didn’t think fit into my plan,” said Kackley. “I jumped at those opportunities.”

One such opportunity was to work as an undergrad research assistant with the Farm Income Enhancement Program.

“I was able to see firsthand the research being done by post docs and get an inside look into how to predict yields and understand the big picture of farm income, “says Kackley. “It taught me to be more aware of issues in the ag industry and to be prepared for the future.”

After graduation, she took a legal analyst position with Kohrman, Jackson and Krantz.  There she did research and legal writing and managed and drafted estate plans and worked with clients in the downtown Columbus law firm. The small town girl managed well in this environment and even though she found her footing, she missed agriculture and her roots.

Roots that run deep in her rural hometown where she grew up near her grandparents’ cattle and sheep farm. As a kid, she showed market hogs in 4H and FFA. She saw first-hand the hard work and passion required to make a living in the agricultural industry.

When an opportunity arose for her to be a voice for farmers who are busy toiling away on the farm, she once again jumped at the opportunity. She recently was named Organization Director for Ohio Farm Bureau in MorganMuskingumPerry and Washington Counties. where she will work with the county Farm Bureaus to address issues important to members and their communities.

“In my role I will advocate for agriculture and communities,” said Kackley. “This includes working with partners in the community, holding events, engaging with our membership, and helping establish policies for my counties.”

Being a recent college graduate, Kackley thinks she is in the position to reach out to the younger generation of farmers to embrace the emerging technology in agriculture.

“It’s all changing and I see young ag professionals leading the way.”