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New Hire Chelsey Gerke, Golden Calf Company

Published on 31 July 2015

Chelsey Gerke

Chelsey Gerke
Calf Consultant
Golden Calf Company
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

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What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I hold an associate degree in animal science from Chippewa Valley Technical College, where I was also the president of the Post-Secondary Agricultural Students Association.

Please describe your agricultural background.
I grew up working with horses on my cousin’s farm. That eventually transitioned into working with cattle on the dairy. When I was young, I began getting involved in 4-H by showing at our county fair in many different areas.

What territory will you cover?
While I will be based in the Bloomer, Wisconsin, office, my territory includes customers in both U.S. and Canada. I am thrilled about the opportunity to travel to North American dairies.

What are your new responsibilities?
My new responsibilities as a calf consultant are to educate, empower and assist farmers with their newborn calves. I have the privilege of working with farmers from all over the U.S. and Canada, each facing different challenges and with different goals in mind. They all agree that taking care of their newborns is an investment in their future and a way to secure a healthy productive herd.

What previous positions have you held?
Having worked as an overall herdsman and a milking technician for many years, I am able to relate to my customers today. In each of my previous positions, I have worked one-on-one with calves and thus built a real appreciation and understanding of the care they require. I am also excited to be able to use my recently obtained animal science degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College.

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Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
I have been very fortunate in the people I have met throughout my life and career, and it wouldn’t be fair to name just one person. Many people helped me by pushing me to be the best I could be, some by educating me, some by supporting me in my endeavors. I consider myself very lucky to have so many influential and successful people in my life. I am a lifelong learner, so there is no doubt in my mind that I will continue to learn from the people surrounding me and grow to excel in this industry.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
Having been on the other side of the industry, I have started to blend together the ideas of practicality and the ideas of using research to our benefit. When I visit farms, I take away so much from farmer to farmer, calf to calf, that I am able to help the next dairy shed light on different areas that may not have been in the light previously. I am going to be the most helpful in the sense that I can offer practical and obtainable suggestions that can only push your calves to be the best possible.

Why did you choose this company?
I chose this company because our main goals are to help our farmers and to educate them. The environment of Golden Calf Company is so warm and so welcoming; I knew this was going to be the best place for me to help others while growing and sharpening my own skills. Having come straight off a farm, where I was milking twice a day and maintaining overall herd health and nutrition, I often ask hands-on type of questions, and never once have I had a question turned away.

I also love how the company uses practicality as well as education. We want colostrum management and calf care to make sense on any operation; therefore, we customize it to each and every one. Understanding that each operation is different is key!

This position at Golden Calf Company allows me to use all my knowledge, from my formal education and my hands-on experience, to help others. The most enjoyable part of my job is visiting farms and seeing the many different operations and the various ways producers approach the same problems. I couldn’t have found a better fit!

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
I just want to help farmers succeed on their operations. I want to inform them and be a part of the wonderful progressing industry that is dairy. I also want to be a successful contributor to the company team. PD

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