March is Women’s History Month! In celebration, we are taking time each week to talk with women leaders at the US Cluster on their advice for other women, how they are breaking barriers in the agriculture industry, and who inspires them. To kick off the series, we chat with Brooke DeWinne, Formulator TNUSA.
What advice would you give to women in your field?
I believe God created us with unique individual talents and strengths to use for the greater good. I would encourage women to spend time identifying what those are for them, be confident in them, hold true to them, and use them to contribute to the common good of our industry.
Throughout my short career, I’ve found that through this authentic approach, you will find true meaning and passion for your work, and in return, companies will find value in your contributions. Find mentors and pursue their experience and knowledge boldly. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and know when to stand your ground for what is right. Most importantly, work hard because the producer at the end of the chain putting out that feed is working harder, and the consumer buying milk or meat is your neighbor, family, or friend.
How are you breaking barriers faced by women in your field?
I know many women have faced significant barriers and continue to do so. Still, in my experience (with the exception of very few situations), I’ve been very fortunate to work amongst great leaders and co- workers who have seen me for who I am and have found value in my contributions regardless of me being a woman. It is an exciting time in Hi-Pro as more and more women join our teams as capable and valued members! At the end of the day, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to serve on our leadership team and have a spot at the table to foster our business and industry’s growth with a rich history and legacy of hard work and dedication.
Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.
I feel so fortunate to have had many mentors and teachers help guide me down the path I’m on today, but the person who deserves the credit for showing me women could succeed in a very male-dominated field is Dr. Jodi Sterle. I met Dr. Sterle as a freshman at Texas A&M University in the Department of Animal Science. She has left a lasting impression on me with her passion for agriculture.