Story by Mikhayla DeMott, (ACJ)
Audrey Schmitz, May 2017 graduate, hails from Axtell, Kansas where she grew up on a dairy farm. This northeast Kansas native has recently moved across the country to Twin Falls, Idaho. She feels right at home at her new job working as an editor for The Progressive Dairymen magazine.
This dairywoman comes from a 90-cow registered Holstein farm and has been surrounded and mentored by many people in the dairy industry since a young age. She has been heavily involved in the industry through 4-H and FFA as a showman and judger. Schmitz now finds herself as a dairy industry professional working with many of the people who have taught and advised her over the years through all her activities.
“My favorite part about my job is working with my mentors and professors and reaching out to them for stories for The Progressive Dairymen,” Schmitz says.
On the flip side of that, the most challenging part of her job is getting used to beat writing. This is new to Schmitz, so it hasn’t come easy. Getting familiar with contacts and the style of writing has been her biggest obstacle but as the beat writer for the Herd Health and Feed & Nutrition columns she is learning fast.
She may be new to a few things but she is no stranger to being a writer and editor. Her passion for journalism was solidified through two specific classes, Ag Magazine and then Magazine News and Feature Writing through the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism. Schmitz held various leadership roles, including being an editor for the Agriculturist and being an executive member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow club.
“Working with others in ACT and for the Agriculturist really prepared me for my working environment now at Progressive Publishing,” says Schmitz.
In addition to her hands-on experience at K-State, she credits a few faculty members as well. She gave a shout-out to Dr. Jason Ellis, Schmitz’s advisor; Ms. Lisa Moser, Ag Magazine instructor; and Mrs. Audrey King, instructor, all faculty members in the ACJ program.
Schmitz is new to Idaho, so she enjoys exploring the area every chance she gets. When she gets out of the office Schmitz loves to see the scenery. She was able to scratch kayaking off her bucket list this summer after embarking down the Snake River, and what better way to see all the sights.