Story by Malerie Strahm, junior (ACJ)
Fifth-generation Kansas State University alumna, Wendy (Mayo) Hushon (’05) has found her home a little farther from Manhattan.
“We were the typical K-State family, growing up,” Hushon says. “Both my parents graduated from there; we had football tickets from the time I was ten years old. We traveled from Garden City to Manhattan every weekend.”
Hushon now lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but every day she meets people with connections to K-State. The K-State network has helped her get where she is today, the marketing communications manager for the North American animal nutrition division of Lallemand Animal Nutrition.
“K-State has so many people that are really involved, and I think I took that for granted while I was a student. Faculty and alumni are really making a difference with what’s going on in the livestock industry,” Hushon says.
Hushon began her education by earning an associate degree from Butler County Community College, where she was on the livestock judging team. When it came to choosing a major at K-State, Hushon considered her love and talent for writing, along with her passion for livestock. She majored in both agricultural communications and journalism (ACJ) and animal sciences and industry (ASI). Hushon’s father and grandfather had farming and cattle operations in Garden City, and the cattle were always her favorite part of the family business.
“When I realized writing was something I could do pretty well, I wanted to help people like my dad understand what types of technologies and resources were available to help them,” Hushon says. “That is what attracted me to magazine work.”
During her time at K-State, Hushon was a member of the livestock judging team, and she became very involved with the Agriculturist magazine. Hushon had interned with the American Hereford Association (AHA) for two summers, so she started the agricultural magazine class with some writing experience. She appreciated the way the instructor, Lisa Moser, pushed students to be prepared for real-world editing.
“Editing is time consuming and hard work, but it is a good real-life skill,” said Hushon.
Hushon was an editor for the magazine for two semesters.
“Wendy was fabulous. She is the only editor who has ever served the magazine twice,” says Moser. “Even as a student, she was very focused and rich with talent.”
Hushon talked to Moser about her internships with AHA and future career goals. Although Hushon enjoyed her experience with AHA, she wanted to try something a little faster paced with more variety. Moser introduced her to a friend at Bader Rutter. Hushon interned with the business marketing agency the summer before graduation. After graduation in 2005, she returned to Bader Rutter, where she worked in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Lincoln, Nebraska, offices for seven-and-a-half years.
“Working for Bader Rutter exposed me to a lot of different things and taught me a lot about strategic marketing,” said Hushon.
Hushon started her current position at Lallemand Animal Nutrition in May 2013. As the marketing communications manager, she works with a team to develop materials and execute marketing plans for Canada, the United States and Mexico. The animal nutrition division is headquartered in France. The company markets silage inoculant products and yeast and bacteria probiotics for all livestock species—primarily dairy, beef, swine and poultry.
“The team in France basically takes care of everything except North America, so we work closely with them to coordinate programs and projects,” Hushon says. “It is an interesting challenge when there are differences in culture, language and industries.”
Hushon believes taking the time to travel abroad as a K-State student would have better prepared her for the international component of her current position. She encourages students to consider international studies.
“Our industry is becoming more and more global all the time, and I think international studies will become more and more important,” Hushon says. “These experiences can only be beneficial and will open up a whole new world of possibilities.”
In May 2014, she married her husband Jake Hushon, who works for New Generation Genetics. She enjoys learning more about dairy cattle from her husband.
Hushon’s younger sister, Stacy Mayo (’07) is also an ACJ alumna. Mayo is the director of the From the Land of Kansas trademark program, now based in Manhattan, Kansas.
Looking toward the future, Hushon’s goal is to help people and make an impact, no matter what aspect of the industry she is working in. She knows, wherever life takes her, she wants to continue to be involved in agriculture.