April 15, 2015
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Women in Agriculture Making a Difference
By Mary Bowen, K-State Master of Agribusiness

Women are increasingly playing a vital role in the food, animal health and agribusiness industry. Dana Brooks is from a small town in the southeast Arkansas Delta region, where she grew up working in cotton, rice and catfish farming agribusinesses.

After high school, Brooks went to work for a local grain elevator and became interested in grain merchandizing, commodity trading, and farm policy. Attending a local university part-time while working full-time, she obtained her degree in agriculture from University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1996.

Upon graduation, Brooks joined Riceland Foods Inc. in Stuttgart, Ark., as a grain merchandiser. Though merchandising was her dream job, a series of unfortunate events, including the untimely death of Brooks’ father in a 1996 farming accident, necessitated a move closer to home. In 2000, Brooks was contacted about going to Washington, D.C., to become the agriculture and trade legislative assistant for a congressman from Arkansas on the House of Representative’s Agriculture Committee. She’s been representing agriculture in Washington, D.C. ever since.

To stay current and competitive in her position, Brooks considered returning to school for more education. “It was frightening to decide to go back to school at 40 years old, but I had a desire to be competitive in the current Washington, D.C., job market. I had been looking at different programs from law school to an MBA for more than decade.

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Featured Employers
Featured Employers

Clemens Food Group
Land O’Lakes
By choosing a career at a local member cooperative within the Land O’Lakes federated cooperative system, you will become part of something bigger with connections to some of the most trusted and loved brands in America.
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CHS is a diversified energy, grains and foods company committed to providing the essential resources that enrich lives around the world.
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For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve vital needs.
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Ag 1 Source is a company that was founded by a group of dedicated professionals that understand the needs of their clients and candidates.
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