TO ALL BIG THINKERS, FUTURE LEADERS, CHANGE MAKERS, HARD WORKERS AND EVERYONE WITH A PASSION FOR DOING SOMETHING MEANINGFUL -- have you considered a career in agriculture?

The food and ag industries are moving fast. To keep us ahead of the challenge of feeding the world, we need the best and brightest to bring innovative ideas back to farmers, fields and families. That's where you come in. Though you might not know it yet.





Regardless of your passion, we have a meaningful career for you. But don't just take our word for it.





Regardless of your passion, we have a meaningful career for you. But don't just take our word for it.

[JOB TITLE]
Honey bee research scientist

[WHERE SHE WORKS]
Purina Animal Nutrition, Gray Summit, Missouri

[WHAT SHE DOES]

As a honey bee research scientist, Grace’s job is to plan and run research trials at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, affectionately known as “the Farm” in Gray Summit, Missouri. Each of the farm’s three honey bee sites house 20-30 colonies, with 40,000-60,000 bees per colony. That’s a few million bees if you’re counting. Feeding and caring for them all is a year-round job that keeps this researcher busy as, well, a bee.

Grace didn’t grow up thinking she’d have a career studying bees, let alone working for a feed company. Initially, she wanted to be a veterinarian. She ended up completing her Master of Science in Entomology right around the time colony collapse was hitting the news.

Fast forward two years later and Grace is helping launch a first-of-its-kind product—Purina® Hearty Bee—a supplement meant for use by commercial beekeepers to give them the nutrition they need to maintain their colony populations.

“This is my first product launch!” says Grace. “I’ve learned so much about marketing and had the chance to help develop the marketing plan and materials. It’s all new to me, and I love it. After seeing how far this project has come, I feel very proud to be involved.”

Grace’s honeybee research is one of the more than 24,000 studies conducted at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center. Not counting the bees, the farm’s 3,000 animals are cared for by 100 people. What we learn through these trials helps us help animals reach their full potential. Because if there’s greatness on the inside, it shows on the outside.

 

"This is my first product launch! I’ve learned so much about marketing and had the chance to help develop the marketing plan and materials. It’s all new to me and I love it. After seeing how far this project has come, I feel very proud to be involved."

GRACE KUNKEL

Honey bee research scientist at Purina Animal Nutrition




"Bee" like Grace. Make a difference.

Join our Team




"Bee" like Grace. Make a difference.

Join our Team

[JOB TITLE]
Vice president, Ag Technology

[WHERE HE WORKS]
Land O'Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Minnesota

[WHAT HE DOES]

Teddy Bekele didn’t necessarily choose a career in ag technology. The career chose him.

Born in Ethiopia, Teddy’s father was a farmer who pushed him away from agriculture. Instead Teddy chose mechanical engineering, and for the first half of his career, that’s where he built his expertise. But that all changed in 2013 when Teddy was approached to join the Land O’Lakes team. Like many people unfamiliar with Land O’Lakes’ farm-to-fork view of the food and ag industries, he had some initial reservations.

“What was so exciting about technology at a company known mainly for butter?” he says. “Then I started looking under the cover a bit more, and learned what Purina and WinField United were doing, and I got really excited.”

“Agriculture was almost a rediscovery of my past. When I went to college, my whole goal was to stay away from agriculture. But now that I'm back in it and leveraging some of the things I've learned over the past 16 years in technology and engineering and applying that to agriculture, it is truly something that inspires me every day.”

Although his father discouraged a career in agriculture, Teddy says he’d be very proud.

 

"What was so exciting about technology at a company known mainly for butter? Then I started looking under the cover a bit more, and learned what Purina and WinField United were doing, and I got really excited."

TEDDY BEKELE

Vice President, Ag Technology




Innovate like Teddy. Make a difference.

Join our Team




Innovate like Teddy. Make a difference.

Join our Team

[JOB TITLE]
SVP of Operations

[WHERE SHE WORKS]
Land O'Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Minnesota

[WHAT SHE DOES]

Su Rankin has a full plate. As senior vice president of operations at Land O’Lakes, Inc., she leads the manufacturing teams -- at 99 facilities -- responsible for producing high-quality, safe product for our Dairy Foods, Winfield United and Purina Animal Nutrition businesses.

Su says that Land O’Lakes is by far the most complicated company she has worked at. And that’s a compliment. As someone who embraces challenges, Su enjoys the daily problem solving and dynamic environment.

"Even though there’s commonality in what we do, the three separate businesses have very different strategies, which is what complicates things," says Su. "My job is really to grease the skids and make it easy for my team to do the right thing every day while making sure customer needs are met."

Beyond operations, Su’s reputation has become synonymous with leadership. She co-leads the Women’s Leadership Network Employee Resource Group, engages on United Way giving campaigns and serves on the Diversity Enrichment Council, which defines Land O’Lakes’ diversity and inclusion strategy.

"When we start out in our careers, we always try to get others to hear our concerns," says Su. "I think I’m finally at a level where I can start being the one to listen and try to have an impact on inclusion."

Growing up, Su says she was always fascinated by agriculture, and now, through determination, perseverance and leadership, she’s found her place in the industry.

 

"My job is really to grease the skids and make it easy for my team to do the right thing every day while making sure customer needs are met."

SU RANKIN

Senior Vice President, Operations




Lead like Su. Make a difference.

Join our Team




Lead like Su. Make a difference.

Join our Team

A career in agriculture doesn't mean you need a background in ag, and the work doesn't always happen on a farm. But, because we're a member-owned cooperative, farmers are at the heart of everything we do.





Meet Amber Horn-Leiterman, a Land O'Lakes member-owner whose passion for modern agriculture has led her from the farm to the football field.





Meet Amber Horn-Leiterman, a Land O'Lakes member-owner whose passion for modern agriculture has led her from the farm to the football field.

[JOB TITLE]
Member-owner

[WHERE SHE WORKS]
Hornstead Dairy in Brillion, Wisconsin

[WHAT SHE DOES]

Hailing from the land of green and gold and all things cheese, Amber Horn is a Land O’Lakes member-owner from Brillion, a small town in eastern Wisconsin. Her family’s Hornstead Dairy was established in 1863, making her the sixth generation, milking 1,000 cows and managing 1,500 acres of corn, alfalfa and wheat. Among her responsibilities: Herd management, the farm’s public relations and managing 15 employees (in addition to her four young boys).

In her "spare" time, Amber advocates for the dairy industry in a big way: serving as a representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Dairy Research and Promotion Board and as a spokesperson for Dairy Management, Inc., and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s undeniably clever “Undeniably Dairy” campaign. Talk about doing it all.

But surprisingly, Amber’s career journey didn’t start on the farm. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, she worked in ag finance on the fifth-floor of a downtown St. Paul, Minnesota high-rise before realizing production agriculture was her true calling.

Being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated industry has given Amber a unique perspective on the misconceptions people have about women in ag. And, with her skills in public relations, she vehemently works to dispel those. For example, many people assume her husband runs the farm (he’s an electrician).

"I think it’s important to never assume things when walking onto a modern farm operation based on the gender of the one who greets you at the barn door," Amber says.

Above all, she strives to instill trust in farmers, help consumers better understand where their food comes from and support Land O’Lakes’ purpose to feed human progress.