Nicole Bartlett Lexington, Kentucky Director of Feed Marketing and Product Development H. J. Baker & Bro., Inc.
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I received a double major in public relations and agriculture fromWestern Kentucky University, but most of my educational background came from working in the industry itself.
I’ve had extended marketing training courses while in Dublin, Ireland, and management courses with professionals from around the world, but the most effective learning experiences have always been when I was given a project with the ability to use my complete creativity. Great things happen when people can retain ownership and are inspired by the work they create.
Please describe your agricultural background.
I was raised with a few layer chickens and a goat or two every now and then. However, I grew up in the suburbs just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, so I definitely wasn’t a traditional farm girl.
Many of my family and friends dedicated their lives to being stewards of the land and I was ready to support agriculture in whatever way I could. I thought public relations and agriculture were a fine fit with my gift of gab and passion for an industry founded on family and tradition.
What are your new responsibilities?
This is a new position to H.J. Baker so the opportunities are vast. My main goal in the first year is to examine markets, define opportunities and formulate clear market entry plans for new products and species focus with regard to protein products through precision promotion and consistent messaging.
What territory will you cover?
I’m looking at opportunities on an international basis, but have spent a majority of my time examining the North American market where H.J. Baker is well-known and established. The economic trends in the less developed regions are of great fascination and I’m anxious to see where we can best be of service.
What previous positions have you held?
I began my career at Alltech as a year-long marketing intern, but the work was more closely related to a regional brand manager. From there, I moved on to Territory Marketing Coordinator where I worked with customers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, and then worked as Global Brand Manager for three different products over a period of time.
After that, I worked as North American Marketing Manager which was my first true opportunity managing people, and they were terrific. In an effort to try something different, I served as Communications Director for the 2011 gubernatorial race in Kentucky, but decided politics were not my forte.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
The most exciting thing to me about joining H.J. Baker is the chance to start in an area with huge opportunity for growth. I believe the agriculture industry, as with many, is changing so rapidly to keep pace with our environment that we must remain on the cutting edge of technology and responsibility. H.J. Baker has the foundation to make this incredibly successful.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
By making ourselves known. H.J. Baker is a name synonymous with quality in the feed, fertilizer and sulphur industries for more than 160 years. While many of the industry’s largest companies have partnered with us on a daily basis, we have so much more to offer the entire livestock, pet, equine and aquaculture markets.
Why did you choose this company?
H.J. Baker cares about their people and I truly believe that in order for a company to be successful, it must look internally at the team driving it. Today’s world is so transparent and I’m just excited to be part of a company working toward feeding the world with a dedication to quality, service and dependability.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
My primary goal in this position is to establish H.J. Baker as protein specialists that do it differently. Our 160-year commitment to the industry has given us the foundation to start with and I’m anxious to see where we fit in the next 100 years. PD