Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

New Hire Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus

Published on 09 December 2015

Margaret Quaassdorff

Margaret Quaassdorff
Dairy Specialist
Vita Plus
Lake Mills, Wisconsin



What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Vermont. Following that, I worked more than a year with hands-on experience as the dairy management intern at the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, New York. Most recently, I earned my master’s degree in dairy science with a focus on ruminant nutrition at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Please describe your agricultural background.
My interest in agriculture developed into a passion after a class at the University of Vermont exposed me to all aspects of the dairy industry. Since then, I have been heavily involved, participating in Dairy Challenge, showing at county fairs, gaining applied skills as a herdsperson and contributing to dairy research through my master’s degree, which focused on protein nutrition, at UW – Madison. I have also attended many industry conferences and events, and contributed to outreach publications promoting agriculture. Partaking in dairy in multiple ways and in different regions of the country has given me a well-rounded and unique perspective.

What territory will you cover?
I will be based in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, and look forward to serving customers throughout south central Wisconsin.

What are your new responsibilities?
My new responsibilities will include serving as a knowledgeable resource for implementable nutrition, management and herd health solutions for dairy producers. I will also join our team in representing the company at local and regional industry events.

What previous positions have you held?
I worked on the University of Vermont dairy farm and as a dairy biosecurity research intern as well. I was selected as a dairy management intern at the W.H. Miner Institute in Chazy, New York, and also worked as a research assistant at UW ¬– Madison, where I researched nitrogen utilization and efficiency in late-lactation dairy cows.


Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” Steve Couture and Anna Pape of the farm staff at the Miner Institute as well as Dr. Rick Grant, Dr. Heather Dann and Kurt Cotanch of the research staff have been instrumental in helping lay my strong foundation of both practical and technical dairy skills. They coached me in everything from animal husbandry to labor management on a working dairy farm, while instilling in me the importance of proper nutrition and cow behavior. Practical, cutting-edge ideas and integrated knowledge is advantageous when teaming with customers to overcome dynamic challenges on their dairies.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
Challenges on dairies are often multifaceted, and producers will benefit from my unique practical and technical knowledge in dairy management. This includes a strong foundation in nutrition integrated with agronomy and forage quality, and best management practices for cow comfort and health. Let’s identify areas for improvement and adapt new technologies and concepts to make it applicable and effective on your dairy.

Why did you choose this company?
Vita Plus carries many of the same values as I do when it comes to working with dairies and serving customers. Vita Plus employee owners are dedicated to listening to and understanding producer needs and challenges first, then implementing customized, practical solutions to attain producer-set business and lifestyle goals. Like me, Vita Plus is focused on the long-term success and sustainability of our customers’ dynamic operations, and is committed to working on the details as a team with our customers each step of the way.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
My goals are to build strong, long-lasting relationships with producers and use my integrated background to work together to meet their goals and help ensure the profitability and success of their dairies. I look forward to becoming a contributing and valuable member of each customer’s dairy team.  PD