Rochelle Ripp Lodi, Wisconsin 65th Alice in Dairyland Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection

What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in 2009 with an agribusiness degree in communications.

Please describe your agricultural background.
I grew up near Lodi on my family’s dairy and cash crop farm and was involved in 4-H, showing dairy, swine and beef throughout my years.

I also gained experience as chair of Dane County Farm Bureau’s Ag Promotions Committee, planning events to educate urban and rural consumers about Wisconsin agriculture. Additionally, I have volunteered with Cows on the Concourse and the Lodi Agricultural Fair.


What are your new responsibilities?
As Wisconsin’s agriculture ambassador, I work to educate audiences across Wisconsin about the $59 billion economic impact and importance of our state’s diverse agriculture industry in our daily lives.

Alice in Dairyland is a one-year, full-time public relations professional employed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (WI DATCP). Each year, Alice in Dairyland travels more than 40,000 miles throughout the state, promoting Wisconsin agriculture to various audiences.

I will conduct hundreds of media interviews and speeches and will also present at over one hundred schools to promote Wisconsin agriculture.

What previous positions have you held?
Prior to being selected as the 65th Alice in Dairyland, I worked as an associate marketing executive at Filament Marketing where I utilized strategic marketing and innovative communications to promote agricultural products, services and initiatives, such as the WhyAg campaign to build awareness of careers in agriculture.

What excites you most about working in your new role?
Agriculture is always changing, becoming better, and I’m excited to share my experience and knowledge with consumers of all ages and backgrounds.

It’s an honor to be representing the great agriculture community of Wisconsin. I love learning more about the diverse crops, animals and products that we have right in our own state – from cheese to cranberries and cherries, Christmas trees, cabbage and so many more – we have something for everyone, from the farmers market to the foreign market.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I will be touring farms and agribusinesses to learn more about the diverse areas of agriculture in Wisconsin and share my enthusiasm and knowledge with consumers and media to help tell the story of Wisconsin farmers and agriculture.

I also serve as a resource to producers and agribusinesses to put them in touch with people, opportunities and partnerships. During my year I will be connecting consumers to their food and farmers and visiting schools to educate students on the diversity and opportunities in this growing field.

Why did you apply to be Alice in Dairyland?
I developed a deep appreciation for Wisconsin agriculture while studying abroad in the Netherlands. Through conversations with my international classmates, I was able to share the diversity of our state’s crops and other agricultural products and services. Upon returning I knew that I wanted to share agriculture’s story and help consumers of all ages appreciate all that agriculture provides us every day.

Agriculture enriches our lives in so many ways, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. It’s the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the shelter over our heads and the fuel that fills our tanks to get us from place to place during our busy day. The role of Alice in Dairyland will give me the opportunity to give back to agriculture, which has given each of us so much, and work on behalf of our hardworking farmers.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
Through this position I will continue consumer outreach while promoting healthy lifestyles and food choices. I hope to inspire the next generation of agriculturalists, students and adults alike, to pursue a career in agriculture and to help them see beyond the stereotypes of farming.

I want to give back, make a difference, and pay it forward! PD