Farm Horizons, Aug. 2018
Delano resident joins Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Board
By Steven Young
Delano resident Katie Schneider will have a new opportunity to share her enthusiasm for agriculture after being elected to the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) board of directors in March.
The MARL board of directors has a curriculum that looks for active leaders. Each session has a mix of tasks including leadership study and personal skill building. The program is a two-year educational experience, which features nine three-day in-state seminars, as well as a six-day national study seminar and a 10- to 14-day international study seminar.
Thirty participants are chosen to take part, including agricultural producers and professionals involved in agribusiness or rural leadership positions.
Schneider said MARL is a three-step process, which begins with candidates getting a reference, followed by an interview. Then, the board makes its selections.
Schneider’s classmates played a crucial part, as they voted her in.
Schneider’s goal is to “keep farms alive.” She doesn’t want her community or other communities to forget about their farmers. She encourages people to stay in contact with farmers, and hopes people won’t be afraid to ask farmers questions about their lifestyle and work.
Schneider said farmers are an essential part of every community and shouldn’t be forgotten.
With her role on the MARL board, advocating for farm groups will be Schneider’s primary focus.
Schneider said she hopes to stay involved in MARL, and hopes to get other people involved in helping their local farmers.
She noted it costs a dairy farmer more to produce a gallon of milk than stores charge retail customers.
Schneider will start her term on the board in August.
The board is comprised of people within the industry, including farmers, producers, and people on the business side.
Schneider is excited to start her new journey as a part of the MARL board of directors.
MARL wants participants to serve on school boards and in local government, and be involved in their communities after completing the MARL program.
While going through the program, Katie took a trip to Washington, DC to advocate for Minnesota agriculture. She met with US Representative Tom Emmer and other members of Congress while on this trip.
Then, in February, Schneider took a trip to Croatia, where she toured farms.
A background in agriculture
Schneider grew up showing horses and went to college initially to continue this passion. She earned a bachelor of science (BS) degree focused in agricultural business and equine science from the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
She has lived in Delano for 29 years, and continues to love giving back to the community through her farming.
As a child, Schneider was involved in 4-H, and showed sheep. In college, she was on the equestrian team, and rode during her first year.
After college, she participated in an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program for a year.
Schneider wanted to pursue “something more corporate,” and found herself in loan processing. She went in this direction to make sure she still had the free time to take care of her horses and the money to afford them.
Schneider and her mother coach for the Wright County 4-Hjudging teams.
Katie’s family also raise breeder ewes. The ewes give birth to twins, sometimes triplets. This can range from 80 to 100 lambs in the winter months (February 15 to the end of April). They raise the feeder lambs to 90 pounds and sell them to farmers who will raise them to a finishing weight.